Playoff birdie gives rookie Stallings first tour win

Scott Stallings reacts after sinking a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win The Greenbrier Classic in a three-man playoff. He is the 10th first-time winner on the PGA Tour this year.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. --- Scott Stallings made a birdie on the final hole to qualify for a three-way playoff, then sprinted in excitement toward the 18th tee and showed he could repeat the feat on the first extra hole.


The PGA Tour rookie sank a 7-footer for birdie on the 168-yard hole to win The Greenbrier Classic on Sunday, beating Bob Estes and Bill Haas.

After watching Estes and Haas miss longer birdie attempts on the first extra hole, Stallings curled in his putt for his first tour victory. He flipped his putter, then hugged and high-fived his caddie.

"To be a champion in such a great event is a huge blessing," Stallings said.

The 26-year-old Stallings is the 10th first-time winner on the PGA Tour this year and the sixth rookie to do it.

"I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid," Stallings said. "I was that little boy running around chasing autographs and yelling at guys because they wouldn't stop and sign my golf balls."

Stallings overcame a tough start and made six birdies on the back nine to gain the playoff, where he earned a winner's check worth $1.08 million and a spot in this week's Bridgestone Invitational and the 2012 Masters Tournament. The win also moved him from 88th to 26th on the FedEx Cup points list.

LPGA TOUR: In Carnoustie, Scotland, Yani Tseng won the Women's British Open for the second consecutive year, beating Brittany Lang by four strokes and becoming the youngest woman to capture a fifth major title.

The top-ranked 22-year-old shot 3-under 69 to finish at 16-under 272. She trailed third-round leader Caroline Masson, of Germany, by two strokes entering the final round. Masson closed with 78 to finish tied for fifth.

"It's very special to win here at Carnoustie where so many great players have made history," said Tseng, who also won the LPGA Championship in June. "I was a little nervous before the start, but then I hit a good tee shot and I felt good. I feel that, having been in this position in a major a few times before, I am getting more mature and can handle the pressure better."

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Killarney, Ireland, England's Simon Dyson won the Irish Open by a stroke, capitalizing on a poor approach shot by Australia's Richard Green on the final hole.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy -- both had mediocre performances. McDowell finished 11 shots behind Dyson. McIlroy was another shot back, along with former Augusta State standout Oliver Wilson.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Sandy, Utah, J.J. Killeen earned his first Nationwide Tour victory at the Utah Championship, closing with 6-under 65 to beat Jeff Gove by four strokes.

Killeen finished at 22-under 262 to tie the tournament record set by former Georgia standout Brendon Todd in 2008.

Aiken native Matt Hendrix shot 67 and tied for 12th at 12-under. North Augusta's Scott Brown closed with 69 and tied for 18th at 11-under.



Sat, 11/18/2017 - 21:21

First buck taken