Stadler Tops Haas at Pebble Beach

By Sports NetworkSeptember 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
Champions TourPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Craig Stadler won for the second consecutive week on the Champions Tour when he captured the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach on Sunday.
 
Stadler, who won the Tradition last week, fired a 6-under 66 to win the event at 15-under-par 201. Jay Haas, who was named to the U.S. Ryder Cup team last month, came in second after a final-round 68 took him to minus-12.
 
'My one goal this year was to win the money title,' said Stadler, who pocketed $300,000 for the win and is comfortably in first on the money list. 'It was pretty easy today. It was a wonderful event. This was awesome.'
 
The last player to win back-to-back events on the Champions Tour was Bob Gilder, who captured the Allianz Championship and Kroger Senior Classic in consecutive weeks.
 
This was the inaugural year of the event, unique on the Champions Tour. The players were paired with two junior players and an amateur. Play was spread over Pebble Beach Golf Links and Bayonet Golf Course over the first two rounds before Pebble Beach took over on Sunday.
 
Stadler held a one-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round and added a birdie at the par-5 second. He narrowly missed the green with his drive at the fourth, but chipped with a 9-iron and kicked in the 1-footer for birdie.
 
Stadler three-putted for bogey at the fifth, but ran off back-to-back birdies at six and seven. Haas also birdied six and seven and the lead was two.
 
At the eighth, Stadler ran home a 7-footer for par to keep his two-stroke lead. He also had a tough par putt at nine, but holed the 10-footer, while Haas missed a makeable birdie putt.
 
Both players birdied the 12th, but Stadler extended his lead at No. 14. He knocked a wedge to 5 feet to set up birdie and move three clear of Haas. Stadler missed a 4-footer for birdie at the 15th, but Haas did not take advantage.
 
At the 17th, Stadler poured an 8-foot birdie putt into the left side of the cup. He was ahead by four and played the par-5 18th conservatively. Haas, down by four with nothing to lose, nailed a fairway metal 30 feet from the stick and two-putted for birdie.
 
Stadler got up-and-down for par at 18 to earn his seventh victory since joining the Champions Tour last year.
 
'Jay missed a lot of putts today,' said Stadler, who also won The ACE Group Classic and Bank Of America Championship in addition to his title at the Tradition last week. 'It seemed like all the putts I aimed at the hole went in.'
 
Haas may have three top-threes in his only starts on the 50-and-over circuit, but he has yet to visit the winner's circle on any tour since the Texas Open in 1993.
 
But Haas has something big left on his schedule in 2004. He was picked by American captain Hal Sutton for the Ryder Cup team, which tees off in two weeks.
 
'It's an exciting time for me. I really enjoy my time out here and wish I could have pulled it out, but I'm so looking forward to it,' said Haas, referring to the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. 'It should be some pretty good stuff.'
 
Hale Irwin and Tom Kite each carded rounds of 2-under 70 on Sunday and shared third place at 7-under-par 209. David Eger, who led after the first round, shot a two-under 70 in the final round and tied for fifth with D.A. Weibring, who posted a 1-under 71. That duo finished at 6-under-par 210.
 
Bruce Lietzke fashioned a round of 5-under 67 and shared seventh place with Ed Dougherty, who put together a round of 71 on Sunday. They came in at minus-5.
 
Related Links:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.