THE 2015 Australian PGA Championship was decided once again in a three-way playoff at Royal Pines Resort on Sunday.
Last year the playoff featured major names in Australian golf with Greg Chalmers and Adam Scott, but the 2015 edition featured three relative unknowns with Victorian Nathan Holman securing his biggest win to date.
The Woodsland Golf Club member entered the final day as the Australian with the lowest score and he was able to hold off South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and American Harold Varner III, who had a putt on the 18th hole in regulation to win the Kirkwood Cup.
Both Frittelli and Varner made bogey on the first hole of the playoff from the rough and after Holman found the fairway, the title was his for the taking. Holman held his nerve to hole the final putt on the 18th, giving him his career-defining win.
“It’s huge. I didn’t realise what was on the line. It’s probably a good thing to be honest. I did think I’d get to those events in the future. I didn’t think it was going to be this quickly,” Holman said.
Holman might have thought his dreams were dashed after bogeying the final two holes of regulation, but he now gets to continue his dream by playing in The Open Championship.
The Australian PGA is the first tournament on the European Tour for the roll-over season of 2016 and with the win Holman gets an exemption from the European Tour for the remainder of the season, an invite to The Open Championship and 2016 World Golf Bridgestone Invitational and also a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
“For a young Australian guy to be able to go and play those events, play British Opens, it’s stuff you dream of playing golf when you’re a kid, to get into those events, just to play them,” Holman said. I”t’s going to be an amazing feeling and to do it off the back of a victory I think is probably going to be better. I’ve deserved it, so I can go there knowing that I’ve done something really good to be here.”
The Australian PGA has the biggest purse of all three Australian majors with Holman picking up AU$315,000 for his win.
Other notable finishers included Queensland’s Cameron Smith in fifth, Richard Green in a tie for sixth and one of the pre-tournament favourites David Lingmerth finishing further down the list on four over par.
Tournament favourite at Sportsbet.com.au was Brandt Snedeker, who was a big flop, finishing in a tie for 135th position on 15 over par.