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Australian PGA Championship | Final report and results

Varner ends home dominance of the Australian PGA Championship

European Tour
Sunday, 04 December 2016 08:28
Harold Varner III holds the trophy in Australia. © Getty Images
Harold Varner III holds the trophy in Australia. © Getty Images


Harold Varner III put last season’s play-off heartbreak behind him to card a closing round of 65 and win his first European Tour title at the Australian PGA Championship.

Varner entered the final round 12 months ago in a share of the lead, but a closing 75 in testing conditions at RACV Royal Pines Resort saw the American finish level par and lose out on the first play-off hole to Nathan Holman.

This time around on the Gold Coast, Varner teed off two shots behind long-time leader Andrew Dodt, and whilst the two went toe-to-toe in a thrilling battle down the stretch, his second 65 of the week saw him win by two shots on 19 under par.

Varner’s victory makes him the first non-Australian to lift the trophy since New Zealander Greg Turner in 1999, and moves him to the top of the fledgling Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex as the first victor of the 2017 season.

It was also his first win since turning professional four years ago, with two runner-up finishes on the Web.com Tour the closest the diminutive Ohio native has come to glory. 

Queenslander Dodt signed for a bogey-free 69 to sit on 17 under, two shots clear of countryman and 2013 champion Adam Scott.

Another Australian, Ashley Hall, was then on 14 under, four shots ahead of his compatriot Brett Rumford, who showed signs of a return to form after a testing 2016 campaign.

Australian amateur Brett Coletta finished in the group at eight under alongside countryman John Senden and Darius van Driel of the Netherlands.

Challenge Tour graduate Ryan Fox was then at seven under, a shot ahead of Stephen Gallacher, Scott Hend, Romain Langasque, Tom Lewis and Prom Meesawat.

Key quotes

Harold Varner III: “That was pretty awesome, I had a lot of fun out there today. I’ve thought a lot about losing the play-off here last year, it was the closest I came to winning last season so it’s been playing on my mind a little bit. 

“I’m now a much better, more mature player than I was 12 months ago, and this win is big for me. Winning is hard, I don’t care where you tee it up, so to get it done feels great and I think we’re going to have a good night celebrating in the casino tonight.”

Andrew Dodt: “That was some round by Harold, to shoot seven under on the final day in those conditions is very special, so hats off to him. That was as good as it gets. I’m pretty proud of the way I handled myself out there today, I would’ve taken a bogey-free 69 at the start of the day, but it wasn’t good enough in the end. It wasn’t my day on the greens, especially on the front nine. I gave it a good go on the back nine, but Harold was just too good today. It’s as simple as that.”   

Final Scores

269 H Varner III (USA) 65 72 67 65, 
 271 A Dodt (Aus) 65 67 70 69, 
 273 A Scott  (Aus) 68 68 70 67, 
 274 A Hall (Aus) 65 69 70 70, 
 278 B Rumford (Aus) 69 71 71 67, 
 280 J Senden (Aus) 70 68 68 74, D Van Driel  (Ned) 72 73 68 67, B Coletta (am) (Aus) 72 69 70 69, 
 281 R Fox (Nzl) 67 69 73 72, 
 282 P Meesawat  (Tha) 71 73 72 66, S Hend (Aus) 74 70 66 72, S Gallacher (Sco) 72 69 72 69, T Lewis (Eng) 73 72 69 68, R Langasque  (Fra) 74 70 68 70, 
 283 S Brazel (Aus) 75 71 65 72, R Pampling (Aus) 74 71 70 68, C Smith (Aus) 71 73 69 70, R Gibson (Aus) 71 71 70 71, T Chuayprakong (Tha) 72 71 69 71, J Suri (USA) 67 71 72 73, 
 284 I Poulter (Eng) 72 68 72 72, O Farr (Wal) 69 73 70 72, M Leishman (Aus) 70 74 69 71, M Sim  (Aus) 69 74 68 73, 
 285 D Lee  (Nzl) 69 73 72 71, B Evans  (Eng) 74 69 73 69, N Srithong (Tha) 68 71 75 71, J McLeod (Aus) 72 71 72 70, J Van Zyl (RSA) 74 72 68 71, T Sinnott (Aus) 68 76 67 74, 
 286 N Cullen (Aus) 68 74 73 71, P Pittayarat (Tha) 74 71 68 73, R Allenby (Aus) 70 76 68 72, B Neil (Sco) 72 71 76 67, M Ford (Eng) 75 71 70 70, R Haller (Aus) 71 71 70 74, J Norris (Aus) 72 74 71 69, B Kennedy (Aus) 71 68 76 71, S Leaney (Aus) 71 70 72 73, 
 287 J Felton  (Aus) 74 71 76 66, P Lonard (Aus) 73 73 67 74, S Webster (Eng) 75 70 65 77, R Green (Aus) 74 72 71 70, M Griffin (Aus) 66 74 72 75, 
 288 P Waring  (Eng) 68 72 75 73, G King (Eng) 74 72 71 71, B Drewitt (Aus) 73 69 70 76, J Zunic (Aus) 73 71 70 74, J Nitties (Aus) 74 71 73 70, R Kellett (Sco) 71 73 69 75, R McCarthy (Aus) 72 70 70 76, G Chalmers (Aus) 70 69 73 76, A Stephens (Aus) 70 73 71 74, D Popovic (Aus) 70 70 76 72, C Davis  (Aus) 74 68 74 72, B Eccles (Aus) 73 69 74 72, A Rai (Eng) 72 71 73 72, J Gibellini (Aus) 74 70 72 72, M Goggin (Aus) 72 71 76 69, S Dyson  (Eng) 71 73 73 71, M Lundberg (Swe) 78 68 76 66, 
 289 D Nisbet  (Aus) 69 72 73 75, J Scrivener (Aus) 73 73 70 73, M Jonzon (Swe) 72 74 74 69, G Drakeford (Aus) 68 72 77 72, S Manley (Wal) 74 71 75 69, R Evans  (Eng) 73 73 74 69, 
 290 A Pike (Aus) 74 72 73 71, 
 291 R Blizard (Aus) 69 73 71 78, S Arnold  (Aus) 75 68 77 71, S Strange (Aus) 73 73 73 72, 
 292 M Millar (Aus) 73 72 77 70, Y Yang (Kor) 74 71 74 73, 
 293 J Lyle (Aus) 69 73 77 74, A Brown (Aus) 73 73 72 75, 
 294 N Johansson (Swe) 69 76 72 77, D Klein  (Ger) 75 69 73 77, M McCardle (Aus) 75 68 81 70, 
 295 K Barnes (Aus) 74 71 75 75, 
 296 P O'Malley (Aus) 69 75 75 77 

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