Kevin Stadler claimed his first PGA Tour victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He shot a three-under 68 in the final round to win by one stroke over Bubba Watson and Graham DeLaet.
The Phoenix Open was Stadler’s 239th career start on the PGA Tour. He shot four-under on the front nine to take the lead at seventeen-under total, but double-bogied the eleventh hole to fall one-stroke behind Bubba Watson. It stayed that way until Watson bogied the par-three 16th to fall back into a tie with Stadler and DeLaet at fifteen-under. Both Stadler and Watson birdied the 17th hole to get to sixteen-under, and the drama continued down the 18th.
On 18, Watson hit his drive into the right hand rough, leaving himself a terrible angle to the back right hole location. Stadler hit the fairway, and attacked the hole with his approach shot, leaving himself a 10-foot birdie putt. Bubba’s approach sailed the green, but he hit a miraculous chip shot to five feet for par. Stadler’s putt slid by the hole, and Bubba had a chance to send the tournament into a playoff, and keep die-hard golf fans away from the Super Bowl.
Bubba’s putt missed on the left side, which he could not believe, and Stadler claimed the W at sixteen-under total.
DeLaet birdied the final two holes to shoot a six-under 65, and finish T2. Last week, DeLaet finished T2 at the Farmers after shooting 68 in the final round. He will win his first tournament soon, so keep an eye out for him.
Watson was the third round leader, and shot an even-par 71 with bogies on the 16th and 18th holes. He will surely be disappointed with his final day effort.
Hunter Mahan and Hideki Matsuyama finished T4 at fourteen-under total. Mahan made a run on the back nine, but bogied the 17th hole to fall out of contention. Matsuyama also made a run, but bogied the 16th hole, and failed to make birdie on 17 and 18.
The players will head to Pebble Beach next week to play the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, February 6-9.
Link to leaderboard.