Stadler finally tastes success

Kevin Stadler can finally call himself a PGA Tour winner after securing the Phoenix Open crown at TPC Scottsdale.

The American started the day two shots behind overnight leader and playing partner Bubba Watson, but he returned a three-under-par 68 to finish with a 16-under 268, one shot ahead of Watson and Graham DeLaet.

Stadler was on fire early on as he made three birdies in his opening three holes and picked up another shot at the nine for an out 31, but he was pegged back by a double bogey at the 11th before he settled the nerves with a birdie at 17.

Watson had a chance to force a play-off, but he bogeyed the 18th to finish with a level-par 71.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Stadler told Golf Channel. “I was walking all over the shop. I hit a lot of good shots and a lot of kind of ugly shots but thankfully it all worked out.

“It feels fantastic. Obviously I would have liked to make that (birdie) putt there (on 18) and win that way but it’s been a long time coming, so I’ll take it any way I can get it.”

Canadian DeLaet was tied second after an excellent fourth-round 65 with seven birdies and one bogey.

Hunter Mahan and Hideki Matsuyama were at 14 under, one shot ahead of Brendan Steele, Ryan Moore and Charles Howell III.

Defending champion and five-time major winner Phil Mickelson was tied 42nd after a level-par left him at three under for the tournament.