Allenby beats Stadler in play-offs

Robert Allenby, after watching Craig Stadler miss three chances at a playoff victory, made a 10-foot par putt on the fourth extra hole Sunday to win the Houston Open for his first PGA Tour title.

Wienby survived going into the water on the first playoff hole and won it despite hitting into the stands behind the green on the last extra hole.

Allenby started the final round with a one-shot lead over Stadler but the two ended regulation tied at 13-under 275.

Stadler, who was looking for his first tour victory since 1996, had a final-round 71 at the 7,108-yard (6,468-meter) TPC at The Woodlands. His putter did him in in the playoff as he missed opportunities for the win on each of the first three holes.

On the final playoff hole, the 421-yard (383-meter) 10th, Allenby hooked his tee shot into a bunker and his second shot went into the grandstands. He took a drop, chipped within 10 feet 3 meters) and made the putt. Stadler, whose second shot was over the green, then missed a putt from about the same distance.

Allenby, a four-time winner on the European tour, earned dlrs 504,000. His best previous PGA Tour finish was a tie for second in this year's Phoenix Open. Stadler, who hasn't won since the 1996 Nissan Open, took home dlrs 302,400.

Loren Roberts, with a final-round 69, and Joel Edwards, with a 70, tied for third at 276, one stroke in front of Mark Brooks and Brad Fabel.

The playoff started at the par-4 18th and it looked bad for Allenby when his second shot was short and went into the water, while Stadler was on the green, thinking two putts would win the tournament.

But Allenby's third shot got him close and he ran in the par-saving putt while Stadler 3-putted from about 40 feet, leaving his second putt on the lip.

Stadler got his second chance at victory on No. 10 when he hit his second shot within five feet of the hole and this time he pulled it to the left. Allenby held with a par and they returned to No. 18 for the third playoff hole.

This time, Allenby went over the green with his second shot but saved par and Stadler missed a 5-foot birdie putt that would have wrapped it up once again.

In regulation, Allenby had a one-stroke lead until he bogeyed No. 17 when his chip shot from just off the green went well past the hole.

Stadler settled for a par and a share of the lead.

That brought the co-leaders to the final regulation hole where both players recovered with par-saving putts to force the playoff.

Final Scoreboard (USA unless stated):

275 R Allenby (Aus) 68 67 68 72, C Stadler 66 69 69 71 (Allenby won on fourth play-off hole) 276 J Edwards 68 71 67 70, L Roberts 68 67 72 69 277 M Brooks 69 67 72 69, B Fabel 70 67 69 71 278 S Hoch 71 65 69 73, S Lowery 73 67 70 68, M Sposa 69 68 71 70, D Sutherland 72 70 67 69 279 C Franco (Par) 65 71 72 71, M Gogel 68 68 72 71, P Jordan 69 72 71 67, J Kaye 72 66 68 73, C Raulerson 68 69 74 68, P Stankowski 67 69 78 65

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