After that, Stadler said he 'just kind of misjudged the wind (for) a few holes and after that it was, just get it over with. And I didn't get it over with very well. I made a hell of a (bogey) 4 on 17' after hitting his first tee shot into the water.
He said he won't drop out of the tournament despite the poor round.
'I will come out and go through the motions and try to play a good round tomorrow,' he said, 'but it's for absolutely nothing other than trying to shoot a good score after today and convince myself that I'm not a 20 handicap.'
Stadler's worst professional round came in the 1978 Tournament Players Championship, when he shot an 85. He also had an 84 in that tournament in 1977 and 1983.
For members of the so-called 'Oak Tree Gang,' conditions at Oak Tree Golf Club on Saturday for the Senior PGA Championship were perfect: hot and windy.
In other words, it was the Oak Tree they'd warned fellow players about.
'It's Oklahoma,' defending champion Mike Reid said, 'and you're going to get days like this.'
Used to playing in such weather, tournament leader Gil Morgan and the other two Oak Tree members still in the tournament, David Edwards and Doug Tewell, either moved up the leaderboard or held their own. At one point, all three were simultaneously on the 15-player board before Tewell dropped off.
Morgan and Tewell were two of the nine players who shot par or better Saturday. Morgan shot an even-par 71 and enters the final round at 6 under. After a 3-over 74, Edwards is in 10th at 1 over, while Tewell's even-par 71 left him at 4 over and tied for 19th.
With the wind routinely blowing between 18 and 25 mph and gusting up to 35 mph, local course knowledge was a definite asset for the Oak Tree golfers, other players said.
'This golf course is a very tough golf course to judge the wind,' said Tom Watson, one of golf's best wind players. 'There's a little home-course advantage when it blows like this.'
Morgan, Edwards and Tewell 'know the areas you don't want to hit it in,' said Loren Roberts, who's tied for third, three shots behind Morgan. 'Every hole has got several of them.'
Tewell was 3 under for his round through 14 holes before bogeys at No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8.
Fellow players 'were worried about the rough getting up, and I said, 'Don't worry about the rough. The wind will dictate the scores here.' It's just a tough day and you just have to stay extremely patient,' Tewell said. 'It was hard over some of those 4-footers just standing still.'
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED:
Loren Roberts, who shot an even-par 71, said one shot saved his round Saturday -- the one that led to his 6-foot eagle putt on the 528-yard par-5 16th.
After his drive left him 205 yards from the hole, he pulled out his 3-iron and aimed at a bunker to the right of the green.
'It didn't really hook, but it kind of hit over in the right edge of the green and just kind of circled all the amphitheater there, all the way around to about 6 feet right behind the hole,' Roberts said.
Three other players -- Jim Ahern, Dave Barr and Eduardo Romero -- also recorded an eagle Saturday on No. 16. Of the 14 eagles thus far in the Senior PGA, all but two have come on the 16th hole.
With a 'howling' wind at his back, Peter Jacobsen hit a 7-iron on the par-3, 197-yard No. 4 toward the middle of the green.
'I guess there's a tree there,' he said. 'I didn't realize it was there until my ball caught the tree, fell down in the bank and it was just on the edge of the water.
'So I took my socks off, put my shoes back on, crawled back in there and just tried to get it on the green, which I did. I hit a pretty good shot. I wasn't motivated to go in that water at all, but you get motivated when you can save a stroke.'
Once on the green, Jacobsen two-putted to end up with a bogey. He finished with a 4-over 75 and is three shots behind Gil Morgan.
Only three golfers shot under-par rounds Saturday. Mike McCullough and Dick Mast finished at 2-under 69, while D.A. Weibring fired a 70.
As a result, McCullough jumped from a tie for 55th after the second round into a tie for 14th at 3 over for the tournament. Mast and Weibring are tied for seventh at 1 under.
R.W. Eaks, who was 1 under through two rounds, withdrew from the tournament Saturday after bogeying his first two holes. He cited back problems as his reason for departure ... For the second time in three days, Tom Watson took a double bogey on No. 4, four-putting the hole Saturday after hitting into water Thursday. He shot a 74 Saturday but still is in ninth, trailing Gil Morgan by six shots.