EY (AFP) - Greg Chalmers swooped under the radar to capture his second Australian Open by a shot and prolong Tiger Woods's tournament drought at The Lakes in Sydney on Sunday.
A controlled final round of three-under par 69 left the Australian left-hander with a 13-under total of 275, one clear of compatriot John Senden with former world number one Woods a further shot behind in third. Overnight leader Senden fought back from four bogeys in his opening seven holes to leapfrog Woods to second spot with a 72 for a 12-under 276.
Woods, a 14-time major champion, had a closing 67 for an 11-under 277 which means he has still has not won a tournament since the 2009 Australian Masters. It was the second success in his national Open for Chalmers after he won at Royal Adelaide in 1998 and it was only his third win on the Australian PGA Tour along with two victories on the secondary US Nationwide Tour.
"I am extremely excited to have won this tournament twice and against one of the strongest fields we've had in Australia for a long time," Chalmers said. "To get it done over the last two days and shoot eight under on the weekend that really floats my boat, that's very exciting for me.
"I've got my name twice on the Stonehaven Cup, that's phenomenal." Chalmers, ranked 215 in the world, was runner-up when Woods won his last tournament at the Australian Masters two years ago at Melbourne's Kingston Heath.
Woods said: "I figured I needed to shoot at least 31 on the back nine to give myself a chance and I thought 13 or 14 (under) was going to be the number that I had to get, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the 13th." He added that it was encouraging to be challenging in the final round of a tournament again after an injury-plagued year.
"I had the lead at Augusta (Masters) on the Sunday, that's the last time I've been in that spot, so it's been a long time," he said. Chalmers hit the front at the day's third hole and held it together for a notable victory over a field stacked with US PGA Tour stars, here for next week's Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. Woods, trailing the overnight lead by six shots, moved up the leaderboard with consecutive early birdies.
The American looked in ominous form with his third birdie at the eighth hole before he struck trouble. He angrily swiped his club after pulling his drive at the 11th and buried his ball in a bunker on the way to his first bogey when his eight-foot par putt slid by the hole.
But Woods stormed back into contention with his first eagle of the tournament at the par-five 14th, chipping in from off the green to trail Chalmers by one with four holes to play.
Woods narrowly missed a birdie at the 16th with Chalmers clinging to a one-stroke lead, playing three groups behind Woods.
Chalmers birdied the 13th to lead by two shots with holes running out for the American. Woods had a downhill 12-foot eagle putt at the 17th but it slid past for a tap-in birdie to trail Chalmers by one heading to his final hole. Woods faced a 25-foot birdie putt at the last but left it short and was two shot adrift of Chalmers, who still had three holes to play.
Chalmers remained steadfast over the closing holes to maintain his advantage as Senden had a fleeting chance on the last to force a playoff. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy had the day's best round of seven-under 65 to finish joint fourth with American Nick Watney, Adam Scott, Nick O'Hern and Jason Day on nine-under 279.
Tiger Woods came up short again in his quest to end a two-year tournament drought with his third placing behind two-time Australian Open winner Greg Chalmers at The Lakes on Sunday. The former world number one, whose barren run has left him outside the top 50 rankings for the first time in 15 years, put himself into a winning position for the first time since the Augusta Masters last April.
But despite an eagle three at the 14th and a birdie at the 17th he could not overhaul the 215th-ranked Chalmers, who beat compatriot John Senden by one shot with Woods a further stroke away.