James holds off Haas to win Allianz Championship

Feb 12, 2007 - 1:45 AM BOCA RATON, Florida (Ticker) -- Jay Haas ran down Craig Stadler on Saturday but he could not pass Mark James on Sunday.

Coming off a sizzling second round, Haas cooled off while James rode a hot start to victory at the $1.6 million Allianz Championship.

Haas fired a scorching 7-under-par 65 on Saturday and entered Sunday's final round tied for the lead with Stadler and James.

Seeking his seventh career Champions Tour title, Haas carded a 2-under-par 70 to finish at 13-under 203. But it wasn't enough for the reigning Player of the Year as James carded his third consecutive round in the 60s.

"I did not have it today," Haas said. "I played poorly, especially off the tee."

The late fade by Haas continued his miserable showing in the state of Florida, going winless in 104 official events. He also had a second-place showing in the "Sunshine State" in the Players Championship in 2003.

"I didn't realize I had gone that long without winning in Florida," Haas said.

James fired six birdies to offset two bogeys. His final-round 68 got him to 15-under 201 and earned him his third Champions Tour title.

"The Champions Tour is my home tour," said James, who pocketed $240,000 with the victory. "I'm delighted to win."

A native of England and former European Ryder Cup champion, James became the first international player to win on the tour since Argentine Eduardo Romero's win at the JELD-WEN Tradition last fall.

Coming off a bogey-free 69 on Saturday, James had four birdies on his first eight holes at Broken Sound Club. He birdied Nos. 2 and 4 and then recorded back-to-back birdies at seven and eight before his first bogey at the ninth.

Birdies at 11 and 12 got James back on track and he picked up his first victory since the 2005 ACE Group Classic despite a bogey and five pars on his final six holes.

"The key moment was the birdie at No. 12," James said. "I felt in control of my game from that point on, even though I three-putted the 14th."

Haas had four bogeys in a seven-hole stretch starting at the ninth and could not close the gap on James despite birdies on two of his final three holes.

"During that four-hole stretch from 9-12, I gave away too many strokes," said Haas, who entered the final round with just one bogey in 36 holes.

Stadler had three birdies and a bogey on the front nine but fell apart down the stretch. An eight-time winner on the Champions Tour but without a victory since 2004, "The Walrus" carded double-bogeys at 15 and 17 and fell into a tie for ninth after a 2-over 74.

World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Price carded a 68 to finish tied for 20th at 6-under in his Champions Tour debut.

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