Sydney - Australian veteran Rod Pampling shot the round of his career on Sunday to break Jordan Spieth's course record at The Australian Golf Club with a 10-under 61 during the final round of the Australian Open.
Spieth set the previous mark of 63 during the final round last year while winning the Australian Open by six strokes, with Pampling finishing runner-up. It was the first time the Jack Nicklaus-designed course had played at a par-71.
On Sunday, Pampling opened with a bogey but then recorded nine birdies — including 2s on three of the four par-3s on the course — and an eagle.
His birdie on the par-4 17th put him at 8 under, level with Spieth's record, and then the 46-year-old Australian made a 60-foot eagle putt on the 18th to break the mark.
"It hasn't quite sunk in yet," Pampling said. "I was just trying to get it close on the last, but it tracked nicely and went in. That was a bonus."
The move up the leaderboard could also see Pampling qualify for next year's British Open as one of the three highest finishers at the Australian Open who are not already exempt for Royal Troon next July.
His runner-up finish last year here also earned him a trip to this year's Open Championship at St. Andrews, where he missed the cut.
Pampling had a mid-morning start Sunday because his 54-hole total of 3-over was 13 strokes from the lead. He initially told his family he'd be on a plane and probably home in Brisbane, an hour's flight from Sydney, by late afternoon.
But when he finished, he was only two strokes behind the leaders and had to remain at the clubhouse in case of a playoff.
He said he'd never shot 10 under in a tournament round before. He opened a Web.com Tour event earlier this year by going 9 under in his first two rounds.
Pampling said he doesn't usually drink alcohol during tournaments, but a caddie friend visited him on Saturday night so he had a few drinks of a popular rum made in his home state of Queensland. He may have to consider doing that more often.
"I knew I've been playing well, but I couldn't get anything going earlier in the tournament," Pampling said. "At least now I've given myself a chance."