Date: December 17, 2014

Grant Report – Chalmers refocuses on US after PGA win

Popular West Australian Greg Chalmers is a star at home.

In 1998 he won the Australian Open, a feat he repeated in 2011.

On Sunday he survived a gruelling seven-hole play-off to win the National PGA title, his second triumph in the tournament after his 2011 success.

The left-hander has won 10 times, including five times on the Australasian Tour.

But there remains an angry elephant in the room. He has never been able to translate that success to his main domain, the US PGA Tour.

Chalmers has two victories but in 15 years, since he started playing in the big league, he has managed just 22 top 10 finishes, with his best results runner-up places in 2000 and 2009.

Chalmers knows this. He is open about it, believes it is somehow mental and now, at the age of 41, is making a renewed attempt to solve the issue.

His play-off win over Adam Scott on Sunday was a bold and encouraging start.

As important as was his effort in surviving seven extra holes was his rampaging run through the field to force his way into the contest.

He was given no chance of success at the start of the final round but carved his way through the field with a tournament-low round of eight-under-par 64.

Emboldened by these events, Chalmers now turns his attention to the PGA Tour with a revitalised approach.

In an extraordinarily frank admission, Chalmers virtually admitted that while in the US he played for a comfortable living, philosophically shrugging off the lack of trophies.

"One of my weaknesses, if you want to get into it, is that when I play in the States I don’t play to win," he said.

"I’ve been doing it a long time but I still experience ‘oh I’d just like to do well’. When I come here I come here to win the golf tournament – really focused on that.

"Because of that I finished fourth at the Australian Open and a victory here. That’s an attitude that needs to change.

"Every single golfer has a challenge and that’s my biggest challenge, trying to take this kind of attitude over there."

Chalmers weekend win also meant he won the PGA Tour of Australasia’s order of merit  as well – a vital factor if he is to regain his full US PGA Tour status next year.

"That’ll help me an awful lot," he said.

"I need all the help I can get next year so just the fact that I’m going to get three extra events in a year when I’m probably only going to get 15 anyway off my category is very exciting."

Meanwhile, Jason Day proved he was back fully fit from injury when he combined with  Cameron Tringale to shoot a final round seven-under-par 65 and win the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida.

Day and Tringale finished one shot ahead of defending champions Harris English and Matt Kuchar at 32-under for 54 holes.

English and Kuchar applied some heat late in the round but it was not quite enough. The defending champions carded a 10-under 62 to finish runner-up at 31-under.

Day is a two-time winner on the US PGA Tour, while Tringale has yet to win an official event on the US tour. The tournament at Tiburon Golf Club was an unofficial event.

By: Robert Grant