Stadler Looks for Success in Mexico

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Champions TourCraig Stadler is a man with a problem at the moment. He hasnt played well on the Champions Tour this year, and that is most unusual for the guy who won five times just a couple of years ago.
 
Stadler and his Champions Tour brethren inaugurate a new venue this week when they play the Puerto Vallarta Golf Classic in Mexico. They are playing on the Jack Nicklaus course at Vista Vallarta, which held the World Cup in 2002.
 
Craig Stadler
Craig Stadler hasn't won on the Champions Tour since 2004.
Stadler has played five times on the Champions this year with his highest finish a tie for 16th in his last outing at the Toshiba Classic. He finished T21 in the MasterCard Championship, T48 at Turtle Bay, T35 at the Outback Steakhouse, and T59 at the AT&T Classic.
 
He hopes to turn things around this week south of the border, but he certainly wont have momentum going for him.
 
I'm not a believer or disbeliever in momentum, said Stadler. I think it's just kind of a fact when you play well you tend to feed off that at times.
 
In other words, good play begets more good play, as evidenced by his 2004 year.
 
You get used to being there, it makes it easier to get there, he said.

Stadler has suffered with a problem back off and on, which may explain his difficulties. The ailment first appeared last year, when he failed to win any tournaments after his big rookie year.
 
You know, it certainly didn't help the cause that I was, I think, from about the 1st of May until the end of June, I was playing pretty much hurt when I did play, and I finally just had had enough, he said about the pain which lasted for 2 months.
 
He believes in the power of positive thinking to beat a negative situation.
 
You know, you've got to allow yourself to learn to manage yourself around a golf course, said Stadler, and it's really something you can't teach, it's just something you learn over time.
 
It was very hard for me when I was young. I wanted to go out and hit it a mile and just birdie every hole. When I made bogey, it set me off for two, three, four holes sometimes. You can use all the adages you want, I guess. We mellow out as we get older and so on and so on, but I've been probably a good 10 or 12 years now where it still bothers me to no end to three-putt.
 
That's as bad as it gets for me. I can sit there and scrape it around, hit trees and make X's here, but when I three-putt, that really gets under my skin.
 
Thats been a sore point for Stadler this year. He stands 50th in putting average, 70th in putts per round. In 2004, he was the tours third best putter.
 
Related Links
  • Full Coverage - Puerto Vallarta Blue Agave Golf Classic