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Pampling shoots 60 in Las Vegas PGA event

AAP logoAAP 3/11/2016

Australian veteran Rod Pampling went within millimetres of joining rare company when shooting an 11-under-par 60 during an incomplete opening round at the US PGA Tour event in Las Vegas.

Bidding to become just the sixth player to go sub-60 on the PGA Tour, 47-year-old Pampling had to settle for par on the final two holes at TPC Summerlin - his 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th grazing the right edge of the hole.

His 60 tied the course record effort of JJ Henry at the event in 2013, and gave him a two-shot lead over Americans John Huh and Brooks Koepka after the opening round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

"My eyes were telling me it was pretty straight," Pampling told reporters of his putt on 18.

"It was on line when it started, it just had a little tail on it. So I'm glad I gave it a chance.

"It didn't come up short, so it was a decent putt. I just picked a bad line."

Pampling's round was punctuated by two eagles and seven birdies - including a 134-yard hole-out for two on the par-4 sixth, while his approach from 233 yards on the par-5 16th stopped within 15 centimetres of the hole.

Pampling last won on the US tour at the 2006 Arnold Palmer Invitational and he had to battle his way back onto the tour this season at the secondary Web.com Tour's finals series.

With limited playing opportunities this year, he is bent on capitalising on every chance.

"I've been hitting it quite well for at least two or three months. I just haven't been driving it super," Pampling said.

"I had my coach come yesterday and we just fixed up a little bit of that so that was good. And the irons were great. We hit a lot of close shots. It was just nice and solid. There was nothing that was extraordinary, but it was just very good."

Pampling predicted he would need to shoot better than 20-under for the tournament to go on and win it.

"It's great to get off to a good start, there's some life left in me yet, and hopefully we keep it going."

Pampling isn't the only Australian high up the leaderboard as first-round play was suspended because of darkness with Matt Jones shooting a 65 and John Senden and Cameron Smith firing 66s while Geoff Ogilvy had a 67.

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