Chalmers takes out PGA thriller
GREG Chalmers says he does not know if he will shoot for the triple crown of Australian golf despite yesterday's inspiring Australian PGA Championship win at Hyatt Regency Coolum.
Two weeks after winning the Australian Open, the 38-year-old West Australian outlasted countrymen Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser in a three-way play-off to claim the Kirkwood Cup.
Chalmers said he would decide this week if he would contest the Australian Masters at Victoria Golf Club starting on December 15.
While the lure of becoming just the second person to win the trifecta - after Allenby - must be great, Chalmers said he was mentally depleted after a long season.
"To be brutally honest I've played 31 or 32 events this year and I'm tired," he said.
"We don't dig coal for a living but it's something that requires physical strength. It's a decision that I don't want to make now.
"If (the Australian Masters) was next week, yes (he would play).
"In two weeks or three weeks I'm concerned I'm going to sit around and get lazy and really not be prepared properly.
"The fact that we've got a couple of weeks until it starts is a worry for me.
"I hadn't planned to play at all (at Coolum) until I won the Open."
Allenby (68) sent the tournament into a play-off when he shrugged off the pressure to hole a seven-metre monster putt on the 18th to go to 12-under alongside Chalmers (67).
Then Fraser (69) drained a 20-metre screamer that curled around the lip before falling in, sending the galleries into raptures.
His rapid-fire fist-pump and all-round high-fives said it all.
Fraser and Allenby both started the play-off badly with Fraser finding the water while Allenby ended in the rough to the right of the fairway.
Chalmers went straight up the middle of the fairway while his second iron shot to find the green was just as good.
He then two-putted for par and victory.
It was the final day the tournament organisers would have been hoping for.
Eight players ended regulation play within three shots of the lead group, including big names such as Adam Scott (68), Aaron Baddeley (72), K T Kim (76) and Jason Day (70).
The lead changed hands all day.
South Korean Kim began the day at 13-under before double-bogeying the par-five fifth and falling away to eventually finish tied for sixth.
Baddeley moved into a share of the lead with a birdie on the 11th only to bogey the 12th, 14th and 15th. He ended tied for fourth.
Chalmers moved into the outright lead with a birdie on the 17th only for Fraser and Allenby to storm home.
Two-time Australian Open winner Chalmers said the win was special, given he was able to do it in front of his wife Nicole and children Max and Lachlan.
It also represents a massive turnaround in fortunes for the world No. 103 who four years ago was struggling for form on the second-tier Nationwide Tour and having his future questioned.
"I've always felt like a career is a long time in golf," he said.
"And I've said in the past that that can be a positive but it can also be a negative. There can be many up and downs.
"Does this complete a comeback? It continues a fantastic trend. I give ultimate credit to (coach) Colin Swatton.
"Without him I couldn't have turned my game around.
"I was in a rut and struggling on the Nationwide Tour and here I am four years later.
"I've been exempt on the PGA Tour for the last three years and I've just won twice in the last three weeks.
"That wouldn't have happened without his help."