Quigley beats Watson in three-hole playoff
KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii — Dana Quigley made a 3-foot par putt on the third playoff hole and beat a faltering Tom Watson on Sunday to win the season-opening MasterCard Championship for the second time in three years.
Watson, who led after the first two rounds, made a bogey after he hit into the lava behind the 17th green at Hualalai Golf Club.
Quigley, who also missed the green long, putted past the hole and made the comeback attempt. He closed with a 6-under-par 66, but his three-putt from the fringe on the final hole of regulation allowed Watson to move into a tie at 18-under 198.
Watson started the round with a three-stroke lead but missed two 4-foot putts for par on the back nine for his only two bogeys in regulation, closing with a 2-under 70.
Quigley, who collected $272,000, won for the first time since taking the season-opener here two years ago and improved his playoff record to 2-2. He finished second to Fuzzy Zoeller last year.
Beginning the day four behind Watson, the 57-year-old Quigley took the lead with a birdie at the par-5 14th hole while Watson made his second bogey of the week at the 13th, failing to get up-and-down from just off the green.
Watson birdied the following hole, but Quigley answered with a birdie from 6 inches at the 15th to regain his one-stroke advantage. That held up until he faltered at No. 18.
Watson, who lost his seventh playoff in eight tries on the Champions Tour, could have won in regulation, but missed a 9-foot birdie putt.
Watson and Quigley halved the first two playoff holes with pars. Quigley ended it at the 17th. Watson saved par with a chip and 4-foot putt on the first, and converted from 5 feet on the next hole, the 16th. Quigley had an 18-footer to win on the second extra hole, but rammed it 7 feet by before making the comeback.
Hale Irwin birdied the 18th to cap his second consecutive 65 and finished in a tie for third with Gil Morgan at 17-under 199. Morgan got within one of the lead after 10 holes, but couldn’t keep up the pace, finishing with a 67.
Mark McNulty (67) and Wayne Levi (71) shared fifth place at 202.
= European PGA — In Durban, South Africa, Tim Clark of South Africa won the South African Open yesterday, closing with a 6-under-par 66.
Clark entered the day in a fourway tie for the lead but finished in front at 15-under 272. Gregory Havret of France (69) and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa (68) were at 279.
“At no stage did I want to let up and make any mistakes,” Clark said.
Clark’s final round was matched only by England’s Nick Dougherty, whose 66 put him at 280 with countryman Graeme Storm, South Africa’s James Kingston and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke.
Clarke shot a 67 and was hurt by a bogey on the 11th hole — at 480 yards the longest par 4 on the course. This was Clarke’s first tournament since winning the Taiheiyo Masters on Nov. 14 in Japan. The European Ryder Cup star’s wife is being treated for cancer.
South Africa’s Titch Moore, who led through the first two rounds, shot a 74, his worst score of the tournament. He had bogeys on Nos. 5 and 16 and a double bogey on No. 11.
Clark and Clarke made substantial donations to tsunami relief efforts.