Golfer Pampling wins on US secondary tour

Australian veteran Rod Pampling has taken a big step towards regaining a US PGA Tour card by winning the Tour’s BMW Charity Pro Am in Greer, South Carolina.

The Queenslander rolled in an 18-foot putt on the final hole for a final round five-under 66 to beat American Kelly Kraft by two strokes with an impressive 25-under-par total of 261.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, it was Pampling’s first win on the secondary tour.

“I don’t care where you’re playing, to shoot 25-under and win only by two, that’s a tribute to the quality of players out here,” said 45-year-old Pampling.

“There are so many great players out here. It feels fantastic. It’s tough to win anywhere these days.”

Pampling was two strokes off the tournament record of 27-under 259 set by Mark Anderson in 2013 and he earned $US121,500 ($A151,100) for his first career victory on the tour.

He jumped from 72nd to eighth on the money list with $US147,460 ($A183,380), putting him in a strong position to earn a return to the PGA Tour next season.

“Once you’re on the PGA Tour it’s pretty easy to stay out there, but getting back is extremely difficult.

“You’ve got to dig deep. This one is pretty special.

“I’ve got a start in the British Open this year because of my work down in Australia, it’s not as much pressure to come back and play straight away, it just frees you up, so it’s awesome that we’ve done it.”

Pampling opened with consecutive nine-under 63s at The Reserve at Lake Keowee and Green Valley Country Club and then shot 69 on Saturday at Thornblade Club, also the venue of the final round where he finished with a five-under 66.

Second place for Kraft, the 2011 US Amateur champion and a frequent practice partner of reigning Masters champion Jordan Speith, secured his Tour status.

“I played really well, just came up a bit short,” he said.

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