Honest Chalmers wins 2011 Australian Open

Greg Chalmers beat the classiest Australian Open field in many years to win the Stonehaven Cup for a second time.

For most of the week, very few people paid much attention to Greg “Snake” Chalmers making his way up the leaderboard at the Australian Open at The Lakes in Sydney.

By his own admission, this suited the incredibly likeable left-hander and managed to make enough birdies to hold off a fast finishing John Senden by a shot.

“I thought coming into the week the focus was on a whole bunch of different players for different reasons. I wasn’t one of them. I felt like my game was in good shape. I thought the back nine on Friday was important. I was two over the time and I played it in two under to get back to five under for the tournament,” Chalmers said in his post-round interview.

Playing alongside fellow Western Australian Nick O’Hern, Chalmers looked in complete control for much of the day. He is ranked number one in scrambling on the US PGA Tour and got out of trouble from bunkers with ease on the 8th and 19th holes. But he later admitted to feeling a little intimidated by the sight and sounds of Tiger Woods making a run on the final day.

“I took a look at nine and I saw through 10 holes he was nine under. That is probably why I missed it from three feet. I lost a little focus there.”, Chalmers said.

“I was aware of what Tiger was doing but I was also aware that I had some birdie holes coming up.”

Chalmers has always been an incredibly honest golfer who works very hard on his incredible short game. He became emotional when talking about his family and his support crew, and when pressed further on whether Woods is still intimidating, he was refreshingly honest.

“He is to me. I have not mixed it up much head to head with Tiger. In the last 11 years in the US I have been paired with him but never in a final round. It is hard to me to comment. I have grown up seeing how good he is. I have played with him and seen how good he can be. There are only a few players who have that aura about them. Greg Norman was one. Tiger is another.”

It is hard not to like Chalmers, and when challenged by Senden, Woods and Day, he had another gear.

The first time Greg Chalmers won an Australian Open was in 1998 at Royal Adelaide. A week later, the International Team had their only victory over the US at the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. While, Chalmers would wish he was playing in the team, he was again very honest about his year and the event.

“I set as a goal at the start of the year to try and make the team. I did not play well enough. I did not even come close. I was ranked 210 in the world. I’ll do what everyone else does and watch it on TV. I’ll be pulling for the internationals. I am a fan of Australian golf and I want to see a good event.”

The Stonehaven Cup could not have gone to a nicer, more honest bloke.

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