Pampling goes from 10th alternate to contender


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – There have been Monday qualifiers who have gone on to win PGA Tour events, but you’d be hard pressed to find one who failed to make it through the Monday qualifier, yet clutched the trophy six days later.

With a pair of 3-under 69 rounds to start, Rod Pampling is looking to buck that trend this week.

On Monday, Pampling shot 65 in the Wells Fargo Championship four-spotter, only to lose to Jack Fields in a playoff to fail to get into the tournament.

But following an outbreak of withdrawals, Pampling went from the 10th alternate to start the week to the last man in the field on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was in the car driving back out,” he explained. “We were first alternate so I was down at Athens [for the Tour event] about lunchtime on Wednesday. So once you're the first alternate I figured I'm coming back anyway. I just hoped that someone pulled out.”

Someone did – and now he’s taking advantage. Pampling carded four birdies on Friday against a single bogey to put himself into contention entering the weekend.

“It was interesting early on,” he said. “I didn't hit it great, but I made a lot of really good putts out there which kept the round going. As the day warmed up, I sort of got into the round and started making some birdies and getting up near the lead.”