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Aussie Pampling triumphs on US PGA Tour

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016 Neil Harvey

Rod Pampling's belief and perseverance have been richly rewarded after he broke through for his first US PGA Tour victory in over a decade.

The 47-year-old Australian showed he could still match it with the tour's young hotshots as he fired a six-under-par 65 final round to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas at 20 under.

Pampling even finished with a flourish, holing a 32-foot birdie putt on the last hole - his eighth birdie of the day - to put the issue beyond doubt as he won by two shots from American Brooks Koepka (67).

The win earned Pampling $US1,188,000 ($A1.5 million) in prizemoney, starts in next year's Masters and PGA Championship and a precious two-year exemption on the US tour after he had battled in recent years, alternating between the main tour and secondary web.com Tour.

The exemption will take him through to his 50th birthday, when he will be eligible for the somewhat easier Champions Tour.

Now in his 22nd year as a tour pro, former Brisbane greenkeeper Pampling had slipped to No.451 in the world rankings.

He scored the last of his previous two US tour wins 3885 days earlier at the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational, which he still rated as his greatest achievement.

"Winning Arnold Palmer's event in '06 is still on top," said an elated Pampling.

"But coming back from what we've had the last few years, to get a win under the belt is just phenomenal.

"It's just the self belief to know it's still there...to know I have the game to compete out here.

"It was just being patient and grinding out there on the Web.com Tour - it's extremely hard over there."

Pampling admitted drawing belief from seeing countryman Greg Chalmers score his maiden US tour win in Reno in July at age 42 and after 386 starts.

"It definitely gives you confidence," he said.

"It's kind of like a big wheel. It seems the Australians are starting to kick it in again. I'm just glad to grab on of those spokes and be part of the big wheel."

Having started the tournament in blistering form with an 11-under-par 60, Pampling went into the final round one stroke behind American Lucas Glover (69) who finished third at 17 under.

Fellow veteran Australian Geoff Ogilvy also had plenty to celebrate after fining some much-needed form in Las Vegas.

The 2006 US Open champion had a closing 68 to tie for fouth with Italy's Francesco Molinari and American Harris English at 16 under.

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