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Golf Australia Express : Issue 5
ANOTHER first-time winner on the US PGA Tour—that makes 10 this season. This this time it was 26-year-old American Scott Stallings—the sixth rookie winner in 2011—who stamped his presence on the tour winning the Greenbrier Classic in a three-way playoff on Sunday. Getting into the playoff with journeyman Bob Estes and two-time 2010 Tour winner Bill Haas was a feat in itself: Stallings needed to sink a 7-footer on the 72nd hole to post a round of 10-under and secure a chance to join in the party at West Virginia. He did just that. Stallings might well have had an advantage going into the playoff, immediately heading back to the par-3 18th while his competitors had been waiting in the clubhouse, Estes for more than an hour. But few could argue Stallings deserved the win, as he constructed a near- identical approach to the 18th sticking a 9-iron to within seven feet while both Haas and Estes found the back of the green. After watching them miss their chances, Stallings slotted a curling birdie putt to secure his first Tour win. “ To be a champion in such A STALLING VICTORY a great event is a huge blessing,” Stallings said after his win. It earned him a cool US$1.08 million, moving him to 26th in the FedExCup standings in the process. More importantly, it earned him a spot in this week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. “I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little kid,” Stallings said. “I was that little boy running around chasing autographs and yelling at guys because they wouldn’t stop and sign my golf balls.” All the final round damage had been done on the back nine after what had been a relatively tame start. Stallings, who was one-shot off the lead at the commencement of the day’s play, made three bogeys on the front nine and it appeared his dream of a Tour win was slipping away. But he changed up a gear coming in with six birdies, including four in the first five holes to start his back nine charge. A bogey on 17 dropped Stallings one back from the lead before he made the gutsy birdie putt on 18 to ultimately get him into the playoff. American Anthony Kim led the tournament after three rounds and looked likely to secure his first win since thumb surgery in 2010. But a disappointing final round of 74 relegated him back to be tied for 14th. Greenbrier’s 18th hole is fast becoming a scene for dramatic finishes. In 2010— the event’s inaugural year—it was the scene of the final act for Stuart Appleby penciling in a record round of 59 and his eventual win. Last week’s event was a disappointing one for the defending champ, who missed the cut with rounds of 71 and 72. OTG “I’VE WANTED TO DO THIS SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID.” —PGA Tour rookie Scott Stallings WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE PGA TOUR FINAL STANDINGS 1 SCOTT STALLINGS USA -10 $ 1,080,000 T2 BILL HAAS USA -10 $ 528,000 T2 BOB ESTES USA -10 $ 528,000 T4 ANDRES ROMERO ARG -9 $ 226,200 T4 BRENDON DE JONGE RSA -9 $ 226,200 T4 CAMERON TRINGALE USA -9 $ 226,200 T4 JIMMY WALKER USA -9 $ 226,200 T4 GARY WOODLAND USA -9 $ 226,200 T9 KYLE STANLEY USA -8 $ 168,000 T9 WEBB STANLEY USA -8 $ 168,000 WRAP THE