Stadler outlasts Watson to win Phoenix Open
02/02/2014 5:16 PM
02/02/2014 6:02 PM
Scottsdale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Stadler carded a 3-under 68 on Sunday to claim a 1-stroke victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Bubba Watson had a chance to force a playoff with a 5-foot par putt at the 18th, but could not convert to hand Stadler his first career win on the PGA Tour.
Stadler, who was making his 239th career start on tour, finished the tournament at 16-under-par 268.
"It wasn't pretty," Stadler said in a televised interview about the win. "I hit a lot of good shots and a lot of ugly shots, but it all worked out."
Graham DeLaet fired a 6-under 65 to meet Watson (71) in second place at 15- under 269. Hunter Mahan (68) and Hideki Matsuyama (69) tied for fourth at 14- under.
Charles Howell III (65), Brendan Steele (69) and Ryan Moore (70) shared sixth place at TPC Scottsdale at 13-under 271.
Watson and Stadler went to the 18th tee tied at 16-under, and Watson hit his drive in the right rough as Stadler split the fairway with his tee shot.
Watson then sailed his second shot into the gallery past the green, while Stadler settled his second about 11 feet from the hole.
Stadler could not convert his birdie effort, but was handed the win when Watson failed to roll in his par putt after chipping to within six feet.
"Obviously I would have liked to make that putt there and won it that way, but it's been a long time coming and I'll take (the win) any way I can get it," said Stadler.
Watson entered the second round with a 2-stroke lead, but Stadler quickly erased that advantage with birdies from 10 and 26 feet at the first and second, respectively, to meet Watson at 15-under.
Watson and Stadler would trade birdies at third to remain tied before Watson stuck his tee shot at the par-3 fourth to five feet and converted that birdie effort to reclaim sole possession of first at 17-under.
After the duo each parred the next four holes, Stadler used a 2-stroke swing at the ninth to jump ahead.
Stadler made birdie at the hole after hitting his second shot to within four feet of the pin and converting that putt to move to 17-under, while Watson failed to get up and down for par from a greenside bunker to drop to minus-16.
Stadler could not hang on to his lead for long, as he was forced to take a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie at the 11th following an errant drive into a cactus. He would eventually post a double-bogey 6 at the hole to drop him a shot behind Watson at 15-under.
Matsuyama, meanwhile, recorded short birdie putts at the third, 10th and 13th around 10 pars to move into a share of second place with Stadler.
Mahan would make it a three-way tie for second when he converted a 13-foot birdie putt at the 16th. It was his third birdie in his last four holes and his fifth gain overall.
Watson then scrambled for par at the 15th after hitting his drive into the water to remain atop the leaderboard at 16-under, while Stadler did the same when he found the water with his second shot at the same hole to remain at minus-15.
Matsuyama lost his share of second place with a bogey at the 16th, but he was replaced by DeLaet when he closed his round with back-to-back birdies at the 17th and 18th to head into the clubhouse at 15-under.
Mahan 3-putted for bogey at the 17th to leave DeLaet and Stadler at 15-under before Watson hit his tee shot at the par-3 16th into a bunker en route to a bogey to meet them there.
Watson and Stadler each drove the green of the par-4 17th, and each player was able to convert their 2-putt birdies to move to 16-under heading into the final hole.
NOTES: Stadler and his father, Craig, will be the first father and son to compete at the Masters at the same time ... The Stadlers are the ninth father- son duo to win on the PGA Tour ... Watson has not posted a round over par in 30 career rounds at TPC Scottsdale ... Watson now has three top-10 finishes at this tournament.
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