Riley beats Kaye in Reno-Tahoe playoff
by Scott Sonner
RENO, Nev. (AP) ? Former UNLV star Chris Riley won the Reno-Tahoe Open for his first PGA Tour title Sunday, beating Jonathan Kaye with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
Riley, coming off a third-place finish in the PGA Championship, two-putted from 8 feet on the playoff hole - the 429-yard 18th - to claim the $540,000 first-place prize.
Kaye, winless on the PGA Tour, had a chance to extend the playoff, but his 5-footer for par lipped out.
Tied for the lead with Steve Flesch at 12 under after three rounds, Riley and Kaye shot matching 5-under 67s to tie the tournament record of 17-under 271 set last year by John Cook on the Montreux Golf & Country Club course.
Kaye, who bogeyed the 636-yard, par-5 17th to allow Riley back into a tie for the lead, had a chance to win in regulation, but barely missed his 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
Riley drove left into the deep rough on that hole, but managed to save par. He hit a 155-yard shot to the front fringe and his 75-foot chip grazed the hole.
Riley hit the fairway on the playoff hole, while Kaye hit right in the rough and found the front bunker on his approach.
Charles Howell III, who held the first-round lead at 65 but followed with a pair of 73s, shot a 64 - the best round of the day - to tie for third with J.J. Henry (68) at 13-under 275.
Craig Stadler started the day just one off the pace in search of his first win in six years, but had a pair of bogeys on the front nine en route to a 74. He tied for 12th at 9 under.
Kaye went birdie-birdie-eagle on Nos. 2-4, and opened a two-stroke lead with a two-putt birdie from 30 feet on the 584-yard, par-5 11th. But Riley made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 15th and moved back into a tie when Kaye ran into trouble on the 17th.