U.S. Open champion Hubert Green made a seven-foot putt after blasting out of a bunker at the second playoff hole yesterday to beat Bill Kratzert, who missed a five-footer, in the $250,000 Hawaiian Open.
Both players ended 18 holes at 14-under-par 274 after Kratzert, winner of only one PGA tournament, made up three strokes over the final nine holes.
After both parred the first playoff hole - the 15th - Greek hit his second shot on 16 into a bunker but wedged it out to seven feet of the pin and made his putt for a par. It gave him his 13th PGA tour victory.
Kratzert also buried his second shot in a bunker on 16, but he missed his five-foot putt for par.
Green started the day at 13-under 203 and had an up-and-down afternoon over the 7,234-yard Wailalae Country Club course.
After rounds of 69-66-68, which gave him a three-stroke lead going into the final round, Green could muster only a 71. Kratzert took advantage of that, shooting a 68 to force the fourth play-off in 13 years of the Hawaiian Open.
Kratzert started the final round at 10-under on rounds of 70-67-69. He made up ground up with a birdie on the 11th and an eagle at the par-five, 526-yard 13th. Green bogeyed the par-three, 180-yard 17th when he missed a five-foot putt and could have won the $50,000 first prize at 18. But his nine-foot downhill birdie attempt slid by the cup. He had to make a three-foot to maintain the tie.
With the wind a little stiffer than during Saturday's near-perfect afternoon, final-round scores were on the up side. It did not stop Mike Morley from shooting a 66, Bob Wood a 68 and Hale Irwin a 69 to put them in a tie for third at 275.
Of the three, Irwin made the most serious challenge, briefly taking the lead when he eagled the ninth and birdied the 10th. But he later bogeyed two holes to fall out of contention.
Gene Littler, whose 65 led after the first round, had a closing 70 to finish at 12-under 276 with Chi Chi Rodriguez and Bill Calfee. Bob Gilder shot a 65, Gil Morgan a 66 and Mark Hayes a 67 to put them with Dave Stockton and Jim Chancey at 278. Lon Hinkie, Bill Rogers, Don Bies and George Burns followed at 290.
The victory was the 13th of his career from Green, and his first since he defeated Lou Graham by a stroke to win the U.S. Open last June.
The Winner's check of $50,000 put Green, a 31-year-old who joined the PGA in 1970, at 960,000 in winnings.
Kratzert, a promising 25-year-old who joined the tour in early 1976, won $28,500.
The final two rounds of the tournament were nationally televised - except for the playoff holes. ABC Television switched to regular programming at the end of regulation play.