Stile-ish Victory in Knoxville


FARRAGUT, Tenn. -- Darron Stiles holed out two approach shots and drained an eight-foot birdie putt on the 71st hole to post a one-shot victory over Aaron Baddeley and Steve Ford at the Knoxville Open. He shot a 4-under 68 Sunday to finish the tournament at 16-under-par 272.
Ford fired a 65 on Sunday while Baddeley carded a 66 and the two were already in the clubhouse as Stiles completed his round.
Stiles, one of three overnight leaders, was 2-under-par on his round when he reached the 15th. He birdied No. 1 and then holed a pitching-wedge from 122 yards out at the third for eagle.
Stiles trailed by one when he hit his 3-wood off the tee at the par-4 15th. He had 164 yards to the flag and hit an 8-iron then watched as his ball landed in the cup for an eagle, giving him a one-shot lead.
Unfortunately for Stiles, sole possession of first did not last long. At the 212-yard, par-3 16th, Stiles three-putted from 50 feet to drop a stroke and move back into a share of the lead with Baddeley and Ford.
Stiles used a 7-iron at the 17th hole and landed the ball eight feet from the cup. He rolled in that birdie putt to take the outright lead and parred No. 18 to earn his third win on the Buy.Com Tour.
'I've holed my share of shots, but two in one round - I've never done that,' said Stiles, who won $76,500 for the victory. 'You're on an emotional high after an eagle. Everyone was going berserk.'
Stiles captured the 1999 Buy.Com Dominion Open and followed up with the Tri-Cities Open the following season. With this victory, Stiles moved to sixth on the 2002 Buy.Com Tour money list.
Baddeley, the young Australian who won the European Tour's Greg Norman Holden Invitational in a playoff against Sergio Garcia last year, was flawless Sunday.
He birdied four of his first five holes and added a four-footer for birdie at the 13th. Baddeley drained a nine-foot birdie putt at the 16th and could have reached 16-under-par, but his 15-foot birdie try at the last did not fall.
'It was a good week. I hit it great all week,' said Baddeley. 'I'm disappointed not to win because I was right there today, but it's good to see good work paying off.'
Ford tallied eight birdies and one bogey Sunday for his round of 65.
Todd Barranger was alone in fourth place at 13-under-par 275, followed by Tag Ridings and overnight co-leader Jason Caron, who tied for fifth at minus 12.
Patrick Sheehan, the final co-leader after Saturday, carded a 1-over 73 Sunday and shared seventh with Patrick Moore, who needs one more win this season to earn an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour. The pair came in at 11-under-par 277.
Full-field scores from the Knoxville Open