Rod Pampling may be Australia’s most recent PGA TOUR winner but he is also on a mission this week to win his first Australian PGA Championship title.
Returning home to Queensland following a win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Pampling is buoyed by confidence.
“You sort of don’t want to hear it, but everyone’s saying to you, wow, you’re 47 and you can still do it. You don’t feel it, but yeah, it is obviously a great achievement to have that done at that age.
“The added confidence I have now from being in the US and winning there was huge
“It’s the freedom again. It’s not that it doesn’t matter, but it kind of doesn’t matter what you do. It allows you to be a little bit more aggressive at a shot, second shot.
“Obviously, it will change a little bit coming down the stretch because you’ll never want to throw a tournament away with 9 holes to go, but I think it will allow me to get into that position a lot more.”
Having completed his PGA Traineeship, Pampling has a special connection to the Australian PGA Championship and would love to win the title prized by PGA Professionals all around the country.
“I haven’t been as successful on Australian soil as I have in the US, so I’m definitely trying to get that back up,” added Scott.
“I’d love to get my name on the trophy. I’ve been close a couple of times up at Coolum, so I definitely want to get it on the resume.
Pampling is looking forward to getting out on course on Thursday and believes a low round could be offered up by RACV Royal Pines Resort this week.
“You know what, in this day and age, it doesn’t surprise me when anyone says a number like that. It seems to be everyone seems to shoot an 8 or a 9, it doesn’t matter what the course looks like on Wednesday, that someone comes out and just goes, lights out. It’s always a chance, definitely,” said Pampling, with Nathan Holman winning with an even par score last year.
“The course this year is certainly grown in a lot more than last year. It was very difficult times to hold the tournament when the course is just finished,” added Pampling.
“The grass around the greens has really matured nicely, so you can actually hit some quality chips again now, whereas last year, it was a little bit of hit and miss. You didn’t know what the lie was going to produce.
The other area of the course that has caught Pampling’s interest is the SONIQ Million Dollar Hole.
Any player that aces the par-3 16th in rounds three or four will win AU$500,000 with a lucky fan also winning $500,000 in cash and prizes.
“It doesn’t matter when it happens or what hole you do it on, it’s great,” said Pampling.
“Obviously, we have a lot of perks out here on Tour and it’s nice that part of your enjoyment of putting a one down on the score card gets shared around. Yeah, you might get a few extra fans out of it.”
Teeing off on Thursday, Pampling will play alongside tournament drawcard Ian Poulter and defending champion Nathan Holman at 11.15am.