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Pampling shoots sizzling 60 to lead in Las Vegas

Update: November, 04/2016 - 12:16
Rod Pampling of Australia lines up a putt on the 18th green during the first round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Thursday. AFP/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News

Golf

LOS ANGELES — Australian Rod Pampling fired a blistering 11-under par 60 to seize the US PGA Tour lead on Thursday in Las Vegas, where two closing pars left him shy of a 59.

The 47-year-old veteran’s 12-foot birdie putt at 18 rolled left to deny him a spot in the exclusive club of golfers to shoot 59 in competition.

He had left a 21-footer at 17 just short.

Pampling, who had two eagles and seven birdies in his first 16 holes, wasn’t too disappointed.

He knew he was doing something special after he stuck his three-iron second shot at the par-five 16th within a foot for his second eagle of the day.

"When I hit it close on 16, that got my attention as to this is a really good  round," Pampling said. "The putt on 17 just fell short in the jaws and on 18 I gave myself a bad read.

"I thought it was straight, but it just had that little left-to-right. I would have loved to have made one for a 59, but it was just a good solid day all around."

Pampling claimed his most recent PGA Tour title at the 2006 Arnold Palmer Invitational. He had to head back to the developmental Web.com Tour Finals to regain his playing privileges.

His sparkling effort had him two strokes in front of John Huh and Brooks Koepka, who both shot 62 at TPC Summerlin.

"I’ve been hitting it quite well for at least two or three months,"

Pampling said. "I just haven’t been driving it super. And 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."

Koepka had nine birdies without a bogey -- including back-to-back birdies to close his round at the eighth and ninth.

"I obviously made a lot of putts today," said Koepka, the US Ryder Cupper who won his first US PGA Tour title in Phoenix last year. "(I) grinded hard

early on in the week making sure the putting was right, and it showed today."

Huh’s nine birdies included five in a row from the 13th-17th.

Billy Horschel was alone in fourth on 64 when play was halted by darkness with a handful of players still on the course. Australian Matt Jones and American Luke List were a stroke back on 65. AFP 

 

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