There’s no more self-effacing man in Australian golf than Greg Chalmers.
A dual champion of the Emirates Australian Open, he knows what it takes to win our most sought domestic title; yet he never once gets ahead of himself in his quest for a third which would put him alongside golfing deities Peter Thomson and Norman Von Nida.
In fact, despite outpointing last-group partners Adam Crawford and world No.1 Rory McIlroy today, his immediate summation was that he’d been “lucky” to avoid bogeys on each of the closing four holes.
Moreover, it was his almost unparalleled scrambling that ensured a par round of 71 while all around him crumbled.
So good was the West Australian’s hands around the greens that he made pars from off the green no fewer than seven times on the back nine.
But you wouldn’t know it listening to the humble left-hander who will start the final round in a three-way share of the five under lead.
“I was really struggling with my swing and I was fatigued coming down the stretch and I didn’t hit a lot of shots that I was proud of,” Chalmers said.
“It was that kind of day – you just have to hang tough.
Hopefully I’ll play better tomorrow, give myself a little less stress and a little easier round.”
The 1998 and 2011 champ took some big scalps to win his Stonehaven Cups, most notably holding off Tiger Woods at The Lakes, nearby in Sydney’s south, for his second national title.
But his answer to a question about how he pulls off such feats when he routinely concedes 30m off the tee to the big guns tells you all you need to know about the mindset of a humble champion.
He says “knowing your game” is paramount.
”I’ve played with Rory and Tiger and there’s a reason they’re No.1 in the world, and Adam is the same, and that’s they have more talent than you,” he said.
“But I have some skills that I try to draw on to get the ball in the hole as best I can and I did that over the last 4-5 holes today.
“This tournament could have been over if I hadn’t got up and down on the last four holes today – I should have made four bogeys, really.”
But he didn’t.
Despite looking as though six weeks of jet-setting to play in all corners of the globe might finally have caught up with him.
“Particularly the last four holes I was really just battling to get to the clubhouse – just make some pars and get out of there.”
And as for potentially having the name Chalmers engraved again on to the Stonehaven Cup to join Australia’s greatest players, you can probably by now figure the answer.
“That’s something worth talking about if you actually achieve it. Standing here right now, there’s no point conjecturing because there’s too much to happen tomorrow.”