Stadler Healthy Again Senior Open Beckons

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
Greg Norman and Loren Roberts are the two high-profile names who have just joined the Champions Tour. But Craig Stadler is rapidly showing that he isnt going to let anyone steal his headlines.
 
Stadler is in Kettering, Ohio, this week to play the U.S. Senior Open. And hes now doing what his competitors feared ' he is starting to have high finishes after half a year of so-so starts. Thats what happens when you are 53 and aches and pains make the body unwilling to do that demands that golf puts on it.
 
Craig Stadler
Craig Stadler owns eight titles on the Champions Tour.
I had, for about six, eight weeks there - I had elbow and back problems, which I've never had before, Stadler said. I took four weeks off just to get healthy again.
 
That was only at the beginning of June. Following a month-long period of rest, Stadler feels well again. He finished first in money won on the elder circuit last year, and now that hes healthy, hes showing why.
 
He finished tied for third in the Commerce Bank Championship earlier this month and was fourth last week in the British. But it has been a long haul out the hole he dug for himself earlier in the year. He played five events on the regular tour and made the cut four times. However, his play on the Champions Tour didnt begin to measure up to last year, when he made the winners circle five times.
 
This year's been a struggle, said Stadler. I didn't get out real well. Played one good event where I should have won, actually, in L.A., at Valencia, I hit a couple shots on the last two holes coming in that cost me.
 
He played his regular-tour events up through the middle of April. Then came the odyssey with the back and elbow. And finally, he is back, trying to get back to the place he was last year.
 
I played OK in New York (at the Commerce Bank), he said. Almost won that. Had a good chance to win there. Couple weeks ago at Ford (Senior Players Championship), never got anything going at Ford Players.
 
And then came last week at the British Seniors, when Stadler played very well after the opening day when he carded a 73.
 
Maybe this is what it takes, he said last week. So maybe that's the wake up call my game needed.
 
Stadler is also calming down in his old age. He was a notorious firebrand in his earlier years. Now, at age 53, life ' and golf ' is just a pleasant stroll in the park.
 
I think I've been a lot calmer in the last probably 10, 12 years. Than, depending upon how far you want to go back, he said. Late '70s, early '80s, I was a freaking maniac. And I'll be the first to admit it. And it readily hurt my game. There's no doubt about it.
 
But I still get upset at a bad shot. But by the time I get to the next one, I'm way over it. And I'm thinking I've been that way for probably 8, 12 years any way it's changed. And a lot changed since I started putting better. A little more consistently better. And that helps.
 
And, theres one thing that really gets him upset. He even occasionally throws a tantrum.
 
I've always said I don't care if I hit a poor shot and make a bogey or make a double, but the thing that really (irks) me is three putts, Stadler said. And it always has. And I've very much limited those the last six, eight, 10 years.
 
So, and accordingly, I mean, my mind still is whacked, but it's not as bad.
 
FIVE FAVORITES THIS WEEK
 
Greg Norman
Greg Normanwill make his second Champions Tour start at the U.S. Senior Open.
GREG NORMAN
The rookie showed last week in his first senior event that hes ready. Despite not being in contention since the 97 season, he finished only one stroke out of a playoff in the British Senior Open. Was that enough to take off years of rust? If so, watch out this week.
 
CRAIG STADLER
The Walrus appears to be all the way back. Hampered by back and elbow problems all June, he says he is healthy now and ready to go.
 
TOM WATSON
Winner of the Senior British last week, he got a new surge of adrenalin with the victory. Hadnt won since 2003 before that, but what has the sudden shot of confidence done for him?
 
LOREN ROBERTS
Another rookie who will be playing his second Champions Tour event after finishing fifth in the British. The weather will be hot again, which means it is time for Roberts to sizzle.
 
DANA QUIGLEY
The Champions Tours leading money winner should be able to rest now that hes back in official action. Quigley missed the British Open with a tricky hip, but he says it only bothers him when he sits for long periods ' it doesnt affect his golf swing. And ' all last week he played 36 to 54 holes each day at home. He has to go to the Senior U.S. Open to recuperate.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
  • Getty Images

    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.