Date: November 30, 2014
Author: Mark Hayes @ The Australian GC

Veterans relish chance for St Andrew�s glory


So it was with great joy that veterans Rod Pampling, Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers sidled up to the Claret Jug for a post-round picture opportunity.

The trio filled the placings behind runaway Australian Open champion Jordan Spieth today. But as the American was already exempt into the 2015 Open Championship, they become the first three through to St Andrew’s via the global Open Qualifying Series.

And Pampling, 45, who charged home with a back-nine 31 to finish runner-up at The Australian, vowed it wouldn’t be a holiday citing Darren Clarke’s 2011 win aged 42 as his proof.

“Yes, yes, I’ve definitely got plenty of go in me to win more events, for sure.

“This (Claret Jug) would be nice, extrememly nice. It’s not out of the possibilities – it was only a few years ago Darrren had a win and that’s the great thing about the Open, anyone in the world can tee it up and win.”

Pampling said this week that he’d used a video analysis of his 2006-08 swing to return to the ball-striking that took him to world No.22.

But he was clearly pumped to have outpointed Adam Scott across the weekend.

“Obviously the form hasn’t been great over the past few years, but it really feels like it’s back to where it once was and I’ve got rid of those bad holes that really don’t let you contend like that.

“It’s nice to have the results after putting in the work.

“I was five under on that back nine– I was trying not to be nervous and all the old stuff when you’re under the gun was still there.

“All the stuff my wife (psychologist Angela) has drummed into me paid off – who knew?” he said with a broad smile.

Rumford said he took many positives from his third place and was looking forward to playing his fifth Open, but first at the home of golf after playing several Dunhill Links Championships there as part of the European Tour.

“St Andrew’s has huge significance for me and I’m really looking forward to getting back there,” he said.

“You obviously want to win the (Australian Open) but we couldn’t match Jordan today and this is a great consolation.”

Chalmers, 41, was pumped to get his invitation to Scotland, saying he’d make a big deal of his third Open appearance with his family.

“St Andrew’s is great, I’ve been twice for Dunhill Links. But I’m really pumped, My parents might come over, my wife and kids – we’ll make a big trip out of it,” he said.

“I’m getting old and you never know when you’re going to go back and this one will be an occasion you can’t replicate.”

Chalmers made a birdie early today, but spent much time scrambling after that and was happy to have posted his third 71 for the week.

“I hit two greens on the front nine to shoot even and did the same yesterday on the back nine,” he said.

“I put a lot of pressure on my short game, but I’m really pleased it held up the way it did and glad to put the cherry on top and get a start in the British Open.”