Lost in the drama and near-darkness of his Australian PGA Championship playoff win over Adam Scott was Greg Chalmers’ entry to one of the most exclusive clubs in Australian golf.
While Scott was left to rue a recalcitrant putter at Royal Pines, Chalmers joined esteemed company including Greg Norman, Norman Von Nida and Carnegie Clark as one of only eight men in more than a century to win both the Australian Open and PGA titles on multiple occasions.
In addition to having his name etched onto the Joe Kirkwood Cup for a second time after first hoisting the trophy in 2011, Chalmers has also won the Australian Open in 1998 and 2011.
Norman, Von Nida, Clark, Peter Senior, Robert Allenby, Peter Lonard and Ossie Pickworth are the only other men to have completed the impressive double double.
It is a rare feat that not even Scott and other greats including major champions Peter Thomson, Ian Baker-Finch and Wayne Grady have managed to pull off.
“That’s rarefied air where he is,” Australian golfing icon Jack Newton said on Wednesday.
“He’s a bit of a freak because his short game is unquestionably one of the strongest in the game.
“His bunker play, his pitching and his putting are outstanding.
“He usually plays tough courses well. He’s now built up a pretty good resume with two Australian Opens and two PGAs.”
Despite his successes in Australia, Chalmers craves a maiden win on the US PGA Tour and Newton believes the plucky West Australian is capable.
“It’s probably irking him that he hasn’t won in America,” Newton said.
“But it’s not the same game as playing The Australian in a bloody 30kph southerly.
“The fairways over there are heavily watered and the greens are heavily watered.
“Apart from the majors and one or two other courses, it’s a putting competition.
“Greg’s only shortcoming is his length from the tee, so he just needs to pick the eyes out of the courses that they’re playing, he needs to select the courses that he knows that he likes and try to get a win out of that.
“It’s not out of his reach at all. I definitely think he can win in America.”
THOSE WHO WON BOTH MULTIPLE AUSTRALIAN OPENS AND AUSTRALIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Greg Chalmers – Australian Open 1998, 2011; Australian PGA 2011, 2014
Peter Senior – Australian Open 1989, 2012; Australian PGA 1989, 2003, 2010
Robert Allenby – Australian Open 1994, 2005; Australian PGA 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009
Peter Lonard – Australian Open 2003, 2004; Australian PGA 2004, 2007
Greg Norman – Australian Open 1980, 1985, 1987, 1995, 1996; Australian PGA 1984, 1985
Ossie Pickworth – Australian Open 1946, 1947, 1948, 1954; Australian PGA 1947, 1953, 1955
Norman Von Nida – Australian Open 1950, 1952, 1953; Australian PGA 1946, 1948
Carnegie Clark – Australian Open 1906, 1910, 1911; Australian PGA 1908, 1909, 1913