Endicott, NY – Willie Wood parred the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat Michael Allen and win the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, his first victory in 16 years.
Wood, a Monday qualifier, drained a long birdie putt at the 18th to match Allen atop the leaderboard and force a playoff.
The pair returned to the 18th, a par 4, where Allen sent his tee shot well to the left and ended up taking a drop in front of a water feature. Wood, on the other hand, played the hole safely and needed only to tap in a short birdie putt to secure the victory.
"I've worked really hard for this," Wood said in a television interview. "Now I have a place to play without having to go through Monday qualifying. That's a good feeling."
It is Wood's first win on the Champions Tour, and first overall since the 1996 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic, a PGA event now known as the True South Classic.
"This is big," Wood continued on TV. "I've had some downs, but this is a big up for me."
Wood carded a 4-under 68 in regulation to match Allen (66) at 13-under-par 203, and the two finished a stroke ahead of four players. Joey Sindelar (66), Kenny Perry (67), Tom Lehman (67) and Brad Faxon (71) shared third place at minus-12.
Faxon was tied with Allen at minus-13 before bogeying the 17th. He then sent a long birdie try past the hole at the last, falling a stroke short of a playoff.
John Huston was in good position to repeat as champion, as he carried a 1- stroke lead into Sunday's round. But after he eagled his opening hole, Huston began to fall apart. He stumbled to a double bogey at the second, birdied the third, then gave that stroke right back at the next hole.
He bogeyed the ninth to turn at minus-11, and his chances of winning all but disappeared with a triple bogey at the 10th. Huston finished with a 5-over 77 and tied for 21st at minus-7.
John Cook (67), Bernhard Langer (67), Mark Calcavecchia (67), Mark O'Meara (68) and Peter Senior (70) tied for seventh at 11-under.
NOTES: Allen took his second runner-up finish of the season. He lost to Fred Couples by one stroke at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in March...Wood pocketed $270,000 for the victory...The Champions Tour travels to Snoqualmie, Washington next week for the Boeing Classic. Calcavecchia won the event last year.