No 9 A Double Dip for the Stadlers

By December 17, 2004, 5:00 pm
2004 Stories of the YearEditor's note: We are counting down the top 10 stories in golf for the 2004 season. This is Story No. 9.
Good things come to those who wait. And that certainly goes for late Fathers Day gifts.
And just ask Craig Stadler if waiting one week made any difference.
As the 51-year-old Stadler strode the fairways of the Nashawtuc Country Club just outside Boston on a Sunday afternoon in late June, his mind wasnt thinking about belated gifts, or even his own golf game for that matter.
Just one week removed from Fathers Day, the man affectionately known as the Walrus was indeed in pursuit of his second Champions Tour victory of the 2004 season. As he tried to chase down the likes of Tom Kite and Tom Purtzer in the final round of the Bank of America Championship, Stadlers thoughts, however, were 430 miles due west in the town of Findley, N.Y.
There, his 24-year-old son Kevin was in the hunt at the Lake Erie Charity Classic on the Nationwide Tour and Craig knew what a win there would do for his son.
Kevin, who despite being named the Pac-10 golfer of the year while at USC (his father also is an alum), was in a bit of a pickle when he arrived for the Nationwide Tour event. Although he had made the cut in the U.S. Open the prior week, he had no status on any tour and a victory would give him what his father knew would be invaluable stability for a young golfer.
So as Craig was putting the final touches on a superb 8-under-par 64 to come back from eight strokes to win the Bank of America by one stroke, his eldest son was locked in a playoff, his future teetering in the balance.
Sitting in the scoring tent at the Champions Tour event, Craig followed the live coverage on The Golf Channel and happily watched as his son held on to win after four holes of a sudden death playoff.
Although coming a week late, it was a Fathers Day gift worth waiting for.
I dont think another win will ever come close to this, said Stadler, who went on to win three more times on the senior circuit and be named Player of the Year. This is incredible. I am so happy for him and so proud of him. I never even dreamed of us both winning on the same day!
The double dip was the second time that a father-son combination had won PGA Tour sponsored events on the same day. The first time coming in March of 1999 when David Duval won the PGA Tours Players Championship and his father Bob won the Champions Tours Emerald Coast Classic.
The individual accomplishments Ive had dont come close to this, proclaimed the proud Stadler, a telling quote for sure, as he can count the 1982 Masters as one of his 13 PGA Tour victories. Hes struggled with his game and struggled trying to find out where to play, but he hung in there and hes worked hard at it.
Kevin, who happened to get in the Lake Erie Charity Classic on a sponsors exemption, used the same wry humor his father is known for in explaining his take on the days improbable results.
After regulation someone said he (his father) was either leading or right there. It didnt distract me because he usually does pretty well on Sundays out there, said Kevin, who pocketed $81,000 for the victory. The only thing I figured was if I won, hed probably win, because hes always trying to one up me.
Actually, Kevins proud papa tried to deflect as much attention from himself as possible, going as far as crediting his sons afternoon in the spotlight as the main reason for his furious Sunday finish.
The whole thing was due to the fact that I wasnt paying much attention to my golf game at all, said the elder Stads about his nifty nine birdie, one bogey effort. I was looking for the marshals and tour officials driving by with updates every other hole.
Meanwhile, after watching his dad hoist trophies for many years on the PGA Tour, son Kevin finally got a little taste of what it was like to visit the winners circle.
'It's enormous,' said the little Stadler, er, younger Stadler, who with the win was guaranteed playing privileges for the remainder of the 2004 Nationwide Tour season. 'To get to play out here, it's better than chasing little minis. I actually know where I'm going to be able to play. It's going to be great.'
He was speaking at the time, of course, of the comfy confines of playing on the Nationwide Tour as opposed to the various mini-tours that dot the U.S. landscape. But as it turned out, that talk was premature as that special day in late June propelled Kevin not only to another Nationwide Tour win just two weeks later, it also eventually landed him third on the season-ending money list.
Suddenly, father and son are both exempt on the PGA Tour for the 2005 season. Craig through his surprising victory at the 2003 B.C. Open and Kevin from that magical win in Findley, N.Y.
Now, imagine if you were Craig.
Youve just won a golf tournament with an impeccable final-round 64 against a field that includes Hall of Famers Kite, Arnold Palmer, Gentle Ben Crenshaw and Gary Player. Then you realize that not only isnt it the biggest win of your career but it doesnt even take top honors at the family's supper table later that evening.
For Craig that isnt a problem at all. In fact, he probably wouldnt mind a second helping.
By the looks of it, neither would his son Kevin.
  • 2004 Year in Review
  • Full Coverage - '04 Bank of America Championship
  • Full Coverage - '04 Lake Erie Charity Classic
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    Vogel Monday qualifies for eighth time this season

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 5:27 pm

    The PGA Tour's regular season ended with another tally for the Monday King.

    While Monday qualifiers are a notoriously difficult puzzle to solve, with dozens of decorated professionals vying for no more than four spots in a given tournament field, T.J. Vogel has turned them into his personal playground this season. That trend continued this week when he earned a spot into the season-ending Wyndham Championship, shooting a 5-under 66 and surviving a 4-for-3 playoff for the final spots.

    It marks Vogel's eighth successful Monday qualification this season, extending the unofficial record he set when he earned start No. 7 last month at The Greenbrier. Patrick Reed earned the nickname "Mr. Monday" when he successfully qualified six different times during the 2012 season before securing full-time status.

    There have been 24 different Monday qualifiers throughout the season, with Vogel impressively turning 19 qualifier starts into eight tournament appearances.

    Vogel started the year with only conditional Tour status, and explained at the AT&T Byron Nelson in May that he devised his summer schedule based on his belief that it's easier to Monday qualify for a PGA Tour event than a tournament.

    "The courses that the PGA Tour sets the qualifiers up, they're more difficult and sometimes they're not a full field whereas the Web, since there's no pre-qualifier, you have two full fields for six spots each and the courses aren't as tough," Vogel said. "So I feel like if you take a look at the numbers, a lot of the Web qualifiers you have to shoot 8-under."

    Vogel has made three cuts in his previous seven starts this year, topping out with a T-16 finish at the Valspar Championship in March. The 27-year-old also played the weekend at the Nelson and the Wells Fargo Championship, missing the cut at The Greenbrier in addition to the RSM Classic, Honda Classic and FedEx St. Jude Classic.

    While Vogel won't have another Monday qualifier opportunity until October, he has a chance to secure some 2019 status this week in Greensboro. His 51 non-member FedExCup points would currently slot him 205th in the season-long race, 13 points behind Rod Pampling at No. 200. If Vogel earns enough points to reach the equivalent of No. 200 after this week, he'd clinch a spot in the upcoming Tour Finals where he would have a chance to compete for a full PGA Tour card for the 2018-19 season.

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    Woods adds BMW Championship to playoff schedule

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 5:01 pm

    Tiger Woods is adding a trip to Philadelphia to his growing playoff itinerary.

    Having already committed to both The Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship, Woods' agent confirmed to that the 14-time major champ will also make an appearance next month at the BMW Championship. It will mark Woods' first start in the third leg of the FedExCup playoffs since 2013 when he tied for 11th at Conway Farms Golf Club outside of Chicago.

    This year the Sept. 6-9 event is shifting to Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa., which is hosting the BMW for the first time. The course previously hosted the Quicken Loans National in both 2010 and 2011. Woods won the BMW en route to FedExCup titles in both 2007 and 2009 when it was held at Cog Hill in Illinois.

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Woods was already in good position to make the 70-man BMW field, but his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship vaulted him from 49th to 20th in the season-long points race and assured that he'll make it to Aronimink regardless of his performance in the first two postseason events.

    Woods' commitment also means a packed schedule will only get busier leading into the Ryder Cup, where he is expected to be added as a captain's pick. Woods' appearance at the BMW will cap a run of five events in six weeks, and should he tee it up in Paris it could be his seventh start in a nine-week stretch if he also qualifies for the 30-player Tour Championship.

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    Handing out major grades: From A+ to F

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 5:00 pm

    The Masters is 237 days away, which means these definitive major grades will hang on players like a scarlet letter for nearly eight months.

    OK, maybe not.

    Brooks Koepka, obviously, gets an A+. He won two majors, and became just the fourth player to take the U.S. Open and PGA in the same season, and did all of this while overcoming a career-threatening wrist injury at the beginning of the year. Very impressive.

    Patrick Reed and Francesco Molinari – you passed with flying colors, too. Reed showed that he can access his best stuff in an event other than the Ryder Cup, while Molinari’s three-month heater culminated with him surviving a wild final day at Carnoustie to hoist the claret jug. Welcome to the major club, gents.

    As for everybody else? Hey, you’ve now got plenty of time to recover, reassess and round into form in hopes of improved marks in ’19.


    Grade: A

    Why: Sure, a few shots from his major season will linger for years – his too-cute pitch shot on Carnoustie’s 11th hole and his sliced drive on Bellerive’s 17th immediately come to mind – but let’s not forget how far we’ve come: Two years ago, Woods could barely walk because of debilitating back pain; at this time last year, he’d just exited a treatment facility for overusing his pain/sleep medications, following an embarrassing DUI arrest. Now, he’s top 30 in the world, with a pair of top-6s in the majors and undoubtedly the most stirring final round of the year, in any event, with his career-best Sunday 64 at the PGA. If you still think that Tiger doesn’t have what it takes to win another major, you’ve lost touch with reality.


    Grade: B+


    Why: He was one of only two players (Webb Simpson) who finished top 20 in all four majors, and he’ll probably look back at 2018 as a year in which he easily could have bagged a second title. At the U.S. Open he was only one shot off the lead after 54 holes but stumbled on the final day. A month later, he tied for second at The Open, but only after a weekend rally once he made the cut on the number. Across all four majors he had the best cumulative score to par of any player (12 under). This was a what-could-have-been year.


    Grade: B

    Why: His 65-67 finish at the Masters left him one shot back of Reed, but it felt like the final obstacle had been cleared. Nothing was stopping Fowler now – he proved he could go low when it counted. Except then he imploded with an 84 in the third round of the U.S. Open and shot over par in both weekend rounds at The Open, before again getting into the mix at the PGA. Alas, battling an oblique strain, he regressed each round after an opening 65 and tied for 12th. Maybe next year …


    Grade: B

    Why: Give him credit: He played better in the majors than he did the rest of the season. He shot an electric 64 on the final day at the Masters (though he’ll rue his tee shot on the 72nd hole) and grabbed a share of the 54-hole lead at The Open, despite not having his best stuff. That he shot a birdieless 76 on the final day was more a product of his form this year than succumbing to major pressure. Like Kopeka, he’s figured out how to perform when the lights are the brightest.


    Grade: B

    Why: With the completeness of his game, it’s a little surprising that he hasn’t given himself better chances to break through. But he’s still only 23, and the chances will come in bunches before long. His fourth-place showings at the Masters and the PGA are steps in the right direction. 

    Rory McIlroy on No. 18 on Saturday at the 2018 Masters.


    Grade: B-

    Why: Asked Sunday how he’ll remember the major season, McIlroy replied bluntly: “Probably won’t. I don’t think there was anything all that memorable about it.” Of course, we’ll remember plenty, such as when he played his way into the final group at Augusta, only to fade over the course of the day, thus squandering another shot at capturing the career Grand Slam. And we’ll remember his tie for second at Carnoustie, where he eagled the 14th hole but then, with a chance to apply pressure on Molinari, couldn’t hit a wedge within 20 feet on the 18th green. He’s fallen into bad habits with that majestic swing, but there are holes in McIlroy’s game that need filling – holes that some of the other top players don’t have. And until he refines his wedge play and putting, that majorless drought (now four years and counting) will continue. 


    Grade: C+

    Why: No one has been better than Thomas over the past two seasons, but he’s likely frustrated by his major performance in 2018 – three top-25s, but only one realistic chance to win. Four shots off the lead heading into Sunday at the PGA, he had erased his deficit midway through the front nine but made critical mistakes on Nos. 14 and 16 to dash his hopes of defending his title. Of all the big-name players, he’s probably the best bet for a major rebound in 2019.


    Grade: C

    Why: This has been a resurgent season for Day, with a pair of wins, but he didn’t bring it in the year’s biggest events. It’ll look good on paper, with three top-20s, but the only time he had a chance to win was the PGA, and he was one of the few to back up on the final day, carding a 1-over 71 when he sat just four shots off the lead.


    Grade: C-

    Why: The floodgates were supposed to open after the 2016 U.S. Open, and it just hasn’t happened. Yet. He top-tenned at the Masters but was a non-factor, then jumped out to a four-shot lead halfway through the U.S. Open. He couldn’t make a putt during a Saturday 77, then got worked on the final day, head to head, against Koepka. He backed it up with a missed cut at The Open (where he blamed a lack of focus) and finished outside the top 25 at the PGA at a soft, straightforward course that suited plenty of other bombers. He can – and should – fare better.


    Grade: D-

    Why: His series of lowlights at the U.S. Open – where he bizarrely whacked a moving ball on the green and then staunchly defended his actions – underscored that his window is all but closed at the majors. His major results since getting demoralized by Henrik Stenson at the 2016 Open: T33-T22-MC-MC-T36-T48-T24-MC. ’Nuff said.


    Grade: F

    Why: No doubt, marriage and fatherhood are massive adjustments for everyone, but he’s missed the cut in his last five majors (and didn’t break par in any major round this year), plummeted down the world rankings (to 25th!) and put European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn in a difficult position of deciding whether to burn a pick on the slumping Spaniard. Memories of that breakthrough Masters victory are already drifting further and further away.

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    Watch: Furyk throws out first pitch at Yankees-Mets

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 12:59 pm

    As part of a a New York media tour to promote the Ryder Cup, U.S. captain Jim Furyk threw out the first pitch at Monday evening's game between the Yankees and Mets at Yankee Stadium.

    Here's a look at some more photos from Captain Furyk's Ryder Cup Trophy tour.