The 32-foot birdie on the 72 nd hole was a confirmation that for the entire week Australian Rod Pampling hadn’t played like he was 451 st ranked in the world and after a -20 effort over the TPC Summerlin course he was number one at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His margin was by two over U.S. Ryder Cupper Brooks Koepka and three better than the 2009 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover.
And it almost didn’t happen. He got lucky.
Pampling got into the tournament because a clerk allowed a normal number of players, 144, to register. For events in the fall when playing hours are reduced, fields are set at 132 but with the 12 additional players the first two rounds had to be called due to darkness and finished the next day.
Opening with a round of 60, when everything went right, Pampling struggled at times especially when he posted a 71 in round three but his 65 on Sunday was a steady effort to earn the victory. This is his third win on Tour, the last came at the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational Presented by MasterCard, Arnold Palmer’s tournament. Pampling used the Srixon Z-Star XV ball which along with the Z-Star were introduced in 2015. They make use of a cover coating that increases friction and spin on iron shots and a 324-dimple pattern that covers more of the surface with better aerodynamics for more distance. The Z-Star balls have Srixon’s “Energetic Gradient Growth Core” with the XV being a dual core for higher swing speed players.
Srixon golf balls are on a two-in- a-row streak with Hideki Matsuyama winning last week at the World Golf Championships-HSBC China tournament also playing a Z-Star XV.
Also of interest at this time of the year when players are trying out new clubs is in addition to the winner both Koepka, who was on the Nike Golf staff, and Glover used TaylorMade drivers so TMaG had a 1-2- 3 finish.
The 47-year old Pampling’s bag has clubs from two other OEMs in addition to Srixon, its Cleveland Golf division and TaylorMade.
Driver: TaylorMade M2 10.5-degrees loft (UST Mamiya Elements Proto PR6F4 shaft)
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M1 14-degrees loft (UST Mamiya Elements 8F4T shaft)
Irons: 3-iron Ping G Crossover (Project X HZRDUS Red 6.5 shaft), 4-iron through pitching wedge Srixon Z Forged prototypes (Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 shafts)
Wedges: 50- and 54-degree loft Cleveland RTX 2.0 and 60-degree loft Cleveland 588 (True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Titleist Newport 2 Mid