Golf Roundup

Golf: Stadler outlasts Watson in Phoenix Open for first PGA Tour title

2014-02-03T00:00:00Z Golf: Stadler outlasts Watson in Phoenix Open for first PGA Tour titleThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 03, 2014 12:00 am  • 

SCOTTSDALE — The Smallrus finally hoisted a big PGA Tour trophy.

Kevin Stadler, the 33-year-old son of major champion Craig “The Walrus” Stadler, won the Phoenix Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory.

Stadler won when playing partner Bubba Watson missed a 5-foot par putt on 18.

“It was a little weird way to win a golf tournament,” Stadler said. “I fully expected him to make the putt. I would have rather made mine to win it.”

Stadler closed with a 3-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Watson and Canadian Graham DeLaet. Watson shot 71, and DeLaet had a 65.

“He beat me,” Watson said. “He’s a great player.”

Stadler won in his 239th tour start, earning a spot in the Masters — a tournament his father won in 1982. The Stadlers are the ninth father-son winners in tour history and will be the first to play in the same Masters.

“It’s going to be great for me because it’s really my last one,” said Craig Stadler, a 13-time PGA Tour winner with nine Champions Tour victories. “I kept saying, ‘When he gets in, that’s my last one.’ ”

Kevin Stadler finished at 16-under 268 at TPC Scottsdale, his home course. Raised in Colorado, he played in Denver Broncos colors, wearing an orange shirt and blue pants and hat.

What was he thinking when Watson was standing over his par putt on 18?

“How long the playoff was going to take and how long until I can watch the football game?” Stadler said.

After Stadler and Watson each saved par after hitting into the water on the par-5 15th, Stadler tied Watson for the lead with a par on the par-3 16th hole. Watson hit into the front left bunker on the stadium hole and his 6-footer missed to the left.

At the 347-yard 17th, they each drove the green and two-putted for birdie from 90 feet — Watson holing out from 18 feet and Stadler from 5.

On the par-4 18th, Stadler hit his 110-yard approach to the back right pin to 10 feet. Watson drove into the right rough and hammered his 120-yard second over the green.

Watson bladed his shot from the trampled rough into the bank next to the green and it ran 5 feet past the hole. After Stadler missed his birdie try and tapped in for par, Watson’s par try slid by the left side.

“I thought I hit a good putt, but obviously I misread that, too,” Watson said.

Stadler likely will move up high enough in the world ranking to get one of the last spots in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship this month in Marana.

European Tour

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Stephen Gallacher of Scotland shot a final-round 72 Sunday to become the first player to successfully defend the Dubai Desert Classic title, beating Emiliano Grillo of Argentina by 1 stroke.

Gallacher fought back after four bogeys over his opening eight left him in a five-way tie for the lead after 11 holes. He won with an overall 16-under 272 for only his third victory in 18 years on the European Tour.

Rory McIlroy struggled with a 74 to finish tied for ninth while top-ranked Tiger Woods (71) birdied his closing three holes for a share of 41st with a 6-under 282.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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