Planet Golf — 22 August 2021 by GW staff and news services
Pampling earns first PGA TOUR Champions victory

SNOQUALMIE, WA –Australian Rod Pampling overtook second round leaders Jim Furyk and Woody Austin to win the Boeing Classic on Sunday, earning his first victory on the Champions circuit. The three-time PGA TOUR winner shot the lowest round of the day, a 66, finishing at 12-under, while Furyk and Austin, who appeared to be playoff bound, instead experienced major problems on the 18th, with both failing to birdie the hole. Furyk’s final round 70 gave him a share of second place (11-under), while Austin, who led going into Sunday, fell to T5, posting a 72.

Pampling, who was five groups ahead of his closest competition, was not surprised by the difficulties presented by the final hole. “You get yourself in the wrong spots, it really is difficult, especially coming up 18. I was in the same boat, I hit a great second shot in there but it just went into the left side and I really had nothing. Obviously Woody and Furyk were both — didn’t hit great shots, but it’s just hard to get up and down on that front pin. Thankfully, it worked out my way.”

The 54-year old was elated about getting his first victory in five years. “It doesn’t matter when you win, it’s phenomenal. Obviously a new chapter on the Champions Tour, so it’s nice to get one I guess not technically first year, so second year. It’s good!”

Austin, never one to hide his emotions, appeared bitter about essentially giving away the tournament on 18. “Like I said, I played better than anybody today as far as in my group and I still didn’t win. I played well enough to win, but that’s why I’m a journeyman. Journeymen don’t win when you’re supposed to.”

Furyk, who already has three PGA TOUR Champions victories this season, was more philosophical. “And this golf course kind of — it’s a severe golf course by design so it’s a place that you’re going to — you’re going to see a lot of birdies, but a lot of bogeys. Today on the way in everyone kind of ended up making some bogeys and went the other
way. It’s just kind of that type of golf course. There’s some holes where there’s just nobail-out, so you fly it at the pin and if you hit a good shot, great; if not, you make bogey.”

Hometown favorite Fred Couples, making his 10th appearance at the event, finished T26 (4-under). He failed to duplicate his stellar play from 2019, when he went into the final round with a five-shot lead, only to give it up and finish third. In his 10 appearances, he has finished third or T3 four times.

Even so, he leaves with some positives. “I didn’t completely embarrass myself, I just was not very sharp. And I
don’t know if I’ve had a month — I practiced pretty hard, but when you’re screwing around it’s a lot different than when you start looking at flags and picturing shots, so I was pretty rusty.”

Couples, who attended the Seahawks pre-season game Saturday night, will also be back for some Kraken games.

Brand Jobe, the defending champion (2019) was also a non-factor, sharing T26 with Couples at 4-under.

Rookie Ernie Els carded an even-par 72 for T11 in his final round of his first appearance at the Boeing Classic. He
recorded the most eagles (2) of the tournament.

Two-time Boeing Classic winner (2010, 2016) Bernhard Langer finished T18 after recording 6-under 210 in his
13th appearance at this tournament. Langer would go on to shoot his age (64) the following week at the Ally Challenge – on his birthday, no less!

Going into the Ally Challenge, Pampling moves up from #17 to #11 in the Charles Schwab Cup money list, while Furyk moves up a spot to #2.

A traditional highlight of the Boeing Classic, the 777 flyover that signals the start of the tournament, was delayed to the end of play on Sunday due to low cloud cover on Friday. It’s still an impressive and unique sight. Watch the video here:

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