Date: July 11, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Gibson comes up agonisingly short

Rhein Gibson was deprived of victory by a spectacular chip-in in a four-way playoff at the Tour’s LECOM Health Challenge today.

Gibson, 30, watched on as Monday qualifier Rick Lamb dropped a chip from the fringe for a birdie four, then hit a birdie putt of his own that leaked left late to deny him his first win on either of the two big American tours.

Gibson, in his debut season on the PGA Tour, has only one top-25 finish to his credit, but clearly relished the drop to the secondary tour with the Greenbrier Classic abandoned.

The Oklahoma-based New South Welshman grabbed the lead on day one with a blistering 8-under 64 and was in the mix throughout.

“(It was a good week,” said Gibson, who birdied two of the final three holes in regulation to get into the playoff with a three-under-par 69.

“I had a chance there on the first playoff hole, hit a really good putt (but) it just didn’t go in.

“Rick had trouble with the first chip and made the second chip so hats off to him. All in all, it was a good week.”

Gibson will take a lot of positives and confidence from a week in which just two of the eight Australians in the field made the cut.

The second place cheque also jumped him more than 140 spots on the money list to 67th, a fact that may be pivotal at season's end if he is to tee up again on the main tour next season.

Gibson is presently outside the top-200 on the FedEx Cup standings with only the top-125 retaining playing rights for next season.

With limited starts remaining on the PGA Tour, a high finish on the money list could be crucial to qualifying for the four-event finals series and earning back his status next year.

Oliver Goss was the only other Australian to play the weekend in New York, a second-round 66 the highlight of the week for the West Australian.

Brett Drewitt, Mathew Goggin, Steve Allan, Cameron Percy, Peter Lonard and Bryden Macpherson all missed the weekend's action.