Date: November 13, 2011
Author: Steve Orme, Sportal

Second time sweeter for Chalmers

Emotional Emirates Australian Open winner Greg Chalmers says claiming the Stonehaven Cup is far sweeter the second time around. Chalmers, who won at Royal Adelaide in 1998, held off John Senden and a fast-finishing Tiger Woods to outlast a world-class field in a riveting final round at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney. The West Australian fired a final-round 69 to finish at 13-under par for the tournament, one ahead of Senden (72) and two shots clear of Woods who charged home with a 67. “I am extremely excited and extremely pleased to have won this tournament twice,” Chalmers enthused. “To win it once, you can stumble into it … but to win it twice, with this field, you can talk about Tiger and it being the strongest field we&aposve had for a long time.” “To go out there and get it done over the last two days and shoot eight under for the weekend, that does something for me.” “It is very exciting for me that I have my name twice on the Stonehaven Cup.” “I think I stumbled into it when I was 26. I had no idea how big a deal it was then but I know more now.” After starting the day two behind Senden, Chalmers burst out of the blocks with three birdies to take a two shot advantage after just seven holes. He held the lead, or at least a share of it, for the remainder of the round but admits he started looking over his shoulder when he saw Woods close to within a single shot with an eagle at the 14th hole. “I took a look at (a leaderboard) at nine and I saw through 10 holes he was nine under, that is probably why I missed my putt from three feet,” Chalmers, who concedes he still finds Woods intimidating, said. “I lost a little focus there and 10 is a hole where I don&apost enjoy the tee shot and I just wanted to get through 10, and same with 12.” “I have not hit driver off 12 for the last two years but I busted a driver up there and hit a four iron to the middle of the green and that gave me a lot of confidence and I felt really good after that tee shot.” “I knew then I was in control of my golf ball and I was aware of what Tiger was doing but I was also aware that I had some birdie holes coming up.” Asked what was going through his mind when Senden narrowly missed a 15m birdie putt to force a playoff at the par-three 18th, Chalmers recalled: “My caddie and I were in the locker room and we try not to do what we call heckle ourselves.” “I started putting my tees away and putting my stuff back in my golf bag and he said, &aposwhat are you doing? Is that a self-heckle?&apos” “So I picked them up and put them back in my pocket and it looked like it was going in, I have to be honest … fortunately for me I had a shot up my sleeve.”