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Kevin Stadler wins Phoenix Open to set up first father-son entry at Masters
Kevin Stadler edges Bubba Watson by a stroke to win Phoenix Open
The Associated Press
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — 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 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 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.’ ... I’m proud of him. It’s awesome.”
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 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.
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.
Puyallup product Ryan Moore tied for sixth and won $207,000 after a 70 gave him a 13-under 271.
The event drew an estimated 563,008 fans, breaking the seven-day record of 538,356 set in 2008.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Stephen Gallacher of Scotland shot a final-round 72 to become the first player to successfully defend the Dubai Desert Classic title, beating Emiliano Grillo of Argentina by one stroke.
Gallacher fought back after four bogeys over his opening eight holes left him in a five-way tie for the lead after 11 holes.
He won with a 16-under 272 for only his third victory in 18 years and 431 events on the European Tour.
Grillo secured his best Tour finish with a 15-under 273 when he eagled the last hole for a 66.
Rory McIlroy struggled with a 74 to finish tied for ninth while Tiger Woods (71) birdied his closing three holes for a 6-under 282.
Seattle’s Fred Couples (70) tied for 54th with a 4-under 284.