It took 386 attempts, but Greg Chalmers is finally a winner on the United States PGA Tour.
Chalmers, 42, has spent more than a decade plying his trade in America and living between Dallas, his US base, and Perth, but until today never won a tournament on the main tour.
That all changed at the $US3.2 million Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nevada when the Western Australian took the lead into the final round and held on to beat Gary Woodland by six points in the modified stableford event.
Chalmers picked up four points on the final day to reach 43 overall. Woodland threatened throughout the final round, getting within a point of the lead, but bogeyed the 72nd hole to give the left-handed Australian a chance.
Walking up the 18th, Chalmers knew he only needed par to hold on. Not content to grind it out, he hit two great shots, and then rolled in the eagle putt from three metres to put the icing on the cake.
The win not only removes him from the dubious honor of being the active player with the longest streak without a win on the tour, pegged at 385 events, but it gives him a start in the Open Championship at Royal Troon next week, and gives him until the end of 2017 with a full card to play on the US Tour.
Previously he had dipped down to conditional status, with limited starts, and he had missed the cut in all five of his tournaments on the main tour this year. On the secondary Web.com Tour, he had made just $33,000 this year.
An emotional Chalmers, who had his father in the crowd watching, said afterward he was relieved rather than anything else. "You just never know what's going to happen,'' he said. "I could have quite easily taken this week off and concentrated on the Web.com, but I felt that my game was coming around. And really at the start of my season I was fighting for just to get a full status on the Web.com. I had conditional status out there.
"So now to get status back here on the PGA TOUR, I get to go play the British Open and I get to play some — back out there and play some great events I'm looking forward to it.''
Chalmers said his seven iron approach to the last was a highlight. "I didn't hit a lot of great shots today. (It's a) unique situation for me. I hadn't led an awful lot on the PGA TOUR, and it's always exaggerated when you want to win so badly because you haven't done it 385 previous times. So it's certainly a relief to see it finishing that close — an easy two-putt having to hole it.''
The Australian struggled to hold it together after the presentation. "Yes, I'm just trying not to cry. No, it means an awful lot to me. And this tournament, historically, has been fantastic for either helping someone or resurrecting someone who is in a deep hole or kicking someone on to another level that was already on their way to another level.
"So for me this tournament was huge. Can't thank the people here enough. Barracuda and the people here at Montreux Country Club, because it's just been — it's an absolute phenomenal leg up to me.''