So you’re wondering where this morning’s post on the final results of the Franklin Templeton Shootout was, right?
Well, I decided to flip on the Australian PGA Championship while I was looking through the Shootout transcripts for jewels and stumbled in right where Aussie, Greg Chalmers was coming down the home stretch. He began the day far enough back that he was attracting attention from the commentators that he now was within reach of the lead; could he just get it to the house?
But that was kind of a sideshow to the fact that Adam Scott was among the leaders. And a funny thing happened to me. I’ve long admired his swing — hasn’t everybody? — but when they first showed one of his driver swings, I became mesmerized. And then they showed his approach shot from down the line. It was flawlessly on plane and accurate.
And then they showed another driver swing and I could no longer look away. That was about the point that Chalmers finished with a 64 to go 11-under and become the leader in the clubhouse. But with how many ever holes Scott had left, with that gorgeous, almost statuesque swing, no way was 11-under going to hold up.
At that point I was still gamely trying to get through the transcripts, but my effort was constantly being interrupted by my not wanting to miss the next Adam Scott swing. I just could not tear myself away from wanting to see the next swing…and the next swing…
But soon, Chalmers was joined at 11-under by both Scott and another Aussie, Wade Ormsby, who began the day tied for the lead and shot final round 71s. How did that happen? Not so much how did Chalmers shoot 64, but how did Scott not catch him with that amazing swing of his?
So, okay, a three-way playoff. This should be over soon enough, I’ll just watch until it’s over and then I’ll get back to the Shootout transcripts and my post. The playoff was just on the par-4 18th until somebody (Scott no doubt) prevailed.
The 18th was a good choice because all of the spectators were already congregated there, of course, and the hole wasn’t all that easy. The fairway was long and narrow and bordered by two long fairway bunkers out in the landing area whose saving graces were that they were shallow and recent rains had firmed them up a bit. In other words, you could play out of them.
But after the first playoff hole, all three men were still standing; back to the tee. And what ensued was a continuing stream of fairway bunker shots, a drive by Chalmers sliced deep in the woods with a perfect window back to the green and a series of winning putts that just would not fall.
Ormsby was out on the third hole. How much longer could this possibly go on, especially with Scott’s dominant drives? I think he was only in a fairway bunker once — maybe twice — but when he nutted one of his drives, they easily rolled 40 or 50 yards by the other two in the bunkers. This was just too much of an advantage.
Chalmers’ drives were only in the fairway, what, twice? Three times? The imagery was of him playing good shots from the fairway bunkers and out of the woods…and hanging on by a thread. Scott would put him away with one his daggers close the pin and it would be over. Soon, I kept telling myself.
But it was a dagger to Scott’s own heart when he missed a 5-foot comeback putt on the 7th playoff hole. It was the longest playoff in a top-tier Australian tournament. Chalmers had only to clean up a 2-footer before a wave of joy, relief and mental fatigue washed across his face, now a two-time Australian PGA champion.
On paper, none of this should have happened. Chalmers seemed outclassed in every facet of the game, except maybe putting. How could this have happened?
It happened because Greg Chalmers never stopped believing in himself until maybe Adam Scott did on that last putt. Who’s to say? But the point is that he never gave up in spite of his share of adversity with those trouble shots and Scott’s tremendous advantage in length and style. Style doesn’t win tournaments, but it certainly exudes a honing of skills and confidence that can be intimidating.
Except this time. Congratulations Greg Chalmers for being an unwavering stand for yourself.
And thanks to Adam Scott for keeping me up into the wee hours of the morning with your unambiguous display of skill and class enabling me to witness Chalmers’ gritty, soaring accomplishment.
What a great game.