Date: November 30, 2008
Author: Angus Morgan

Pampling: Preparation was the difference

Setting aside a little extra time to prepare made all the difference according to new Australian Masters champion Rod Pampling who defeated Marcus Fraser on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff at Huntingdale on Sunday. For the past decade, the Queenslander has returned to Australia at the end of each USPGA season with high hopes of securing a precious win at &aposhome&apos, and come up short. But this time the 39-year-old set aside three weeks from the start of November to get a feel for Australian conditions which he believes are quite unique. “I guess you could look back as say it&aposs disappointing that I haven&apost won too many, but coming back to Australia I haven&apost had a lot of time to prepare,” Pampling said. “This time I had time to just get around the greens and just chip and goof around with my buddies and it makes a helluva difference to be able to hit some tricky shots that you don&apost get in the States.” “It&aposs definitely a bonus and it&aposs worked out great.” Pampling said he wasn&apost discouraged by birdie misses at 16 and 17 which could have secured a win in regulation and felt in total control throughout the playoff. He said he used relaxation techniques drummed into him by his wife to stay focused. “I knew I was hitting the ball really well,” he said. “I played great today and I hit a lot of quality shots and that&aposs all I kept telling myself every time we got back to the 18th tee was, &aposhit a shot, hit a shot&apos.” “There was no pressure on myself and that certainly helps.” Pampling has two USPGA titles – the 2004 Invitational and the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational – but the 1999 Canon Challenge was his only previous Australasian title. It was with a hint of relief that he conceded his Masters win was probably not before time. “At the end of the day I&aposve had chances to win, but thankfully today I&aposve got up there and had the win,” Pampling said. “It&aposs great to win at home and to win such a great event too; the Masters has had some unbelievable names on the trophy.”