Stadler Hoch Enjoy Good Starts at En-Joie

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2007, 4:00 pm
Champions TourENDICOTT, New York -- Craig Stadler's golf game isn't where he'd like it to be. For one day, though, it was good enough to put him atop a leaderboard.
 
Stadler shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to tie Scott Hoch and qualifier Rod Spittle for the first-round lead at the inaugural Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
 
After a one-year hiatus, professional golf returned to En-Joie Golf Club on a perfect summer day, with temperatures around 80 under partly cloudy skies. But gusting 25-mph winds in the afternoon helped prevent low scores on the narrow 6,974-yard course.
 
Only 20 players broke par, but 17 of them were within two shots of the lead. And Bruce Vaughan, Massy Kuramoto, Ed Dougherty, Bruce Fleisher, Tim Simpson, Tim Conley and Jack Ferenz were tied for fourth just one shot back.
 
This Champions Tour stop replaced the PGA Tour's B.C. Open, which had been staged annually at En-Joie from 1971-2005. It was eliminated after last year, a victim to the major modifications to the tour schedule that began in 2007.
 
Stadler didn't come close to duplicating what he accomplished here four years ago when he shot a stunning 9-under 63 on the final round to win the B.C. Open by one shot at age 50. He started slowly, bogeying the par-3 fourth hole when he hit 3-wood left and couldn't get up and down.
 
Stadler recovered and reeled off four straight birdies, closing the string by hitting a 6-iron to 20 feet and making a birdie putt on No. 7 and chipping to 4 feet at No. 8. He nearly made it five straight, but his birdie putt attempt at the par-4 ninth hole stopped at the lip, eliciting groans from the gallery as Stadler stared skyward.
 
Stadler faltered with consecutive bogeys after the turn, then rallied with birdies at Nos. 12 and 18. And he was happy when the day was over.
 
'A lot of everything -- a lot of good shots, a lot of horrible shots, a lot of good putts, a lot of horrible putts. Very much a combination,' said Stadler, who has broken 70 only four times in his last 21 rounds. 'Kind of a little roller-coaster. But I got in under par, which I haven't done in about three years anywhere. It's nice for a change not to be teeing off at No. 10. If we were going off one tee tomorrow, I'd still be going off 10 the way I've been playing.'
 
Hoch played En-Joie six times in the 1980s, the last in 1986 when he missed the cut. All 18 greens were redone for the 1998 B.C. Open, and the small trees that many players remembered have grown to great heights, making the fairways seem even narrower.
 
On this day, Hoch, a native of North Carolina who thrives when it's warm, started by sinking a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first hole, then missed an 8-foot par putt at No. 2 to give the stroke right back. Still, Hoch rallied with four birdies in a seven-hole span before hitting a poor tee shot at No. 15 and missing a downhill putt from inside 3 feet for bogey.
 
'The wind was blowing pretty good, and the thing that made it tough was that it seemed to be crossing, and this is a very tight course anyway,' said Hoch, who played in a threesome with Fuzzy Zoeller (79) and Jim Thorpe (72). 'It made it extremely difficult. It was a difficult day. The two guys I played with didn't make a birdie. It wasn't that easy.'
 
Stadler blamed his problems on the fairways, which still are recovering from the flood waters that inundated the course a year ago and forced the PGA to move the final B.C. Open about 90 miles northeast to Turning Stone Casino's Atunyote Golf Club.
 
'The fairways have struggled,' Stadler said. 'They haven't come back the way they were.'
 
Spittle, who shot 68 on Monday to qualify, didn't seem to mind, and he was by far the biggest surprise of the day. Three years after giving up a lifelong job of selling health insurance, he sits in heady company.
 
'I'd just like to tiptoe around a couple more days,' said Spittle, who with Thorpe were the lone players to record bogey-free rounds. 'I hope I just stay solid the next two or three months. My job Mondays is to see if I can get work on weekends.'
 
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

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    President at the Presidents Cup


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    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

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    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


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    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


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    Trump golf properties

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    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

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    Pros comment on the president

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.