What were the odds for Greg Chalmers at the Barracuda Championship? The equivalent of drawing to an inside straight—a fool’s bet, as it’s widely known in these parts?
But the 42-year-old Australian, without victory in 385 previous career starts on the PGA Tour, who arrived in Reno with no discernible form, eagled the 18th hole at Montreux G. & C.C. on Sunday, worth five points in this Modified Stableford scoring system, for a six-point win over Gary Woodland.
Chalmers came in with few expectations, having played only six tour events this season, missing the cut in the last five. He had made only three cuts in nine starts on the Web.com Tour as well.
“I just thought, in golf you always have to think something good is just around the corner,” the left-hander known for his putting prowess said. “I thought my game was close.”
He came to the par-5 18th hole with a one-point lead, then hit a second shot from 229 yards to six feet below the hole—“the only good shot I hit today, I think,” he said—and made the putt. Moments before, Woodland, the 2013 champ in Reno, three-putted the 18th green for bogey to fall one point behind.
Chalmers needed only a par to win, but he closed in style. He earned entry into the Open Championship, the PGA Championship and the Tournament of Champions, as well as a two-year PGA Tour exemption, the spoils for drawing an improbable winning hand.