Goydos holds off Sauers to win Allianz title

Boca Raton, FL ( - Paul Goydos birdied the 18th hole on Sunday to win the Allianz Championship by one stroke over Gene Sauers.

Goydos, who shared the second-round lead with Bart Bryant, Tom Pernice Jr. and Rod Spittle, finished at 12-under-par 204. This was his second victory on the Champions Tour.

"The golf course played hard. Today it played the hardest by far. Part of it being hole locations and part of it being slightly different wind, and part of it, I think the greens got a little firmer and a little faster," Goydos said. "I had trouble with speed all week. The golf course I thought played much harder today."

Sauers fired a 5-under 67 to grab second place at minus-11 on The Old Course at Broken Sound Club. Fred Funk and John Huston both closed with 6-under 66s to end at 10-under 206. They were joined there by last year's winner Michael Allen, who shot 67 on Sunday.

Jose Coceres soared into a tie for sixth thanks to a closing 9-under 63. He ended alongside Jay Haas (69) and Tommy Armour III (66) at minus-9.

Bryant and Spittle both stumbled to 1-over 73s and they tied for ninth at 8- under 208. Pernice shot 74 and finished in a tie for 11th at minus-7.

Goydos, who was in the last group with Pernice and Spittle, played the first five holes in even-par. He had birdied the second, but tripped to a bogey on the fourth.

Pernice birdied the first to grab the lead at minus-10, but he made triple- bogey on the third and fell two back. He never recovered from there.

Spittle jumped two clear of the field with birdies at four and five. However, he faltered to a quintuple-bogey 10 on the par-5 sixth and could not come back.

Goydos briefly grabbed the lead when he made birdie on No. 6, but he tripped to a 3-putt bogey on seventh to dip into a share of the lead with Haas, Coceres and Sauers.

Coceres birdied the 16th to briefly move atop the leaderboard, but he bogeyed 17 to fall back into a tie with Goydos at minus-9.

Goydos regained the lead with a birdie on the ninth from just outside 10 feet. He drained another birdie at 12 to get to 11-under. As Goydos parred the next four holes, Sauers made a late move.

Sauers birdied the final two holes to tie Goydos at minus-11.

"I was encouraged by the start. I played good and hit the ball solid. I'm just trying to knock the rust off, but I'm pleased for the first event out," said Sauers.

Goydos also parred the 17th, then got up and down for birdie at the last to seal the win.

"That chip, I first hit it and it took the first bounce, I thought it was going to stop short, quite frankly, and it rolled all the way down to the hole," Goydos said of his chip at 18. "So in a sense, I would much rather have been over the green chipping down the hill than in the front bunker or something like that."

NOTES: Goydos earned $255,000 for the win ... Nine different players had at least a piece of the lead during the final round ... Sauers had one of the four bogey-free rounds on Sunday ... The Champions Tour heads to Naples next week, where Kirk Triplett will defend his title at the ACE Group Classic.