Stadler Best Putter on Champions Tour
Stadler won last week at the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, and he now has won $1,909,666. Thats a little more than $300,000 over the No. 2 man, ageless Hale Irwin. As the over-50 set gets ready to play the Kroger Classic this week near Cincinnati, Ohio, Stadler thinks he knows the reason why.
For the last decade of the regular tour, he had trouble rolling the ball into the cup. In 1999, for instance, he had dropped all the way down to 147th in the putting rankings. This week, following a brilliant putting performance at Pebble Beach, he was No. 1 on the Champions Tour.
I had putter issues beginning about 89 or 90, said Stadler. I was a wonderful putter in my teens and early pro career, pretty much up until the mid-80s ' pretty much relied on it because I hit the ball pretty much every which-way. Short game was always good.
But about late-80s on, the putter was always prone to go south. About three or four years it just stayed there, and it didnt come back.
Hes done it by utilizing something that ' for him ' was pretty radical.
I changed to the paintbrush - Calcavecchia, claw, whatever you want to call it, he said. And the paintbrush is feeling more and more natural all the time.
Its made a world of difference, because I was late 90s, 2000 I was almost 32 putts a round. Ive got that down to about 29.5. So youre talking about 10 shots a week in a four-round tournament.
What was he last week? He averaged 26.7 for the three-round affair. Putting at that level is extremely tough to beat.
He recalls the difficult times at the end of his regular-tour career when golf wasnt much fun anymore. And it was because his putter was unreliable. He was taking too many putts.
I was missing cuts by two or three, said Stadler. You cant make the cut, you go to $5,000 from $100,000 in a hurry.
But Stadler this season is closing in on $2 million. And is largely because of his putter and his new grip.
Watch: Hahn slam-dunks ace on 11th hole
There are aces, and there are slam-dunk aces. No question which one this one by James Hahn on the 154-yard 11th hole was.
Els' nephew Rebula wins Amateur Championship
Ernie Els is one proud uncle.
His nephew, Jovan Rebula, won the Amateur Championship on Saturday at Royal Aberdeen to become the first South African to capture the title since Bobby Cole in 1966.
Rebula, a junior at Auburn, will join his famous uncle in Carnoustie next month for The Open. He also will get invites to the 2019 Masters and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Rebula defeated Ireland's Robin Dawson, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final.
"It’s unreal," Rebula said. "It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but it’s an unreal feeling. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different."
Rebula received plenty of texts from Els throughout the week, and the encouragement paid off. Rebula opened a 1-up lead after 18 holes, and he extended his advantage by winning the 26th and 27th holes. He was 5 up with six to play before finally closing out Dawson on the 16th hole with an up-and-down from the bunker.
"It’s been a long week and especially today," Rebula said. "I should have finished maybe a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. A very tiring week. I’m standing here right now and there’s so much adrenaline pumping through me."
Squirrel gets Rory's round off to a rocky start
CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy’s third round at the Travelers Championship got off to a peculiar start before he even hit a shot.
McIlroy had just been introduced on the first tee at TPC River Highlands and was ready to unload on his opening drive of the day when a squirrel ran across the tee box a few feet in front of him.
Squirrel who interrupts swings > Guy who yells "Baba Booey"— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) June 23, 2018
Every time. pic.twitter.com/IvJGTVtHTC
McIlroy stopped his swing and laughed it off, but the squirrel continued to linger for several seconds, criss-crossing from one side of the packed tee box to the other. And while this was no black cat, the pump-fake to start his round didn’t exactly help the Ulsterman.
McIlroy ultimately blocked his drive into the right rough after enduring his brief rodent delay en route to an opening bogey, and amid soft conditions at TPC River Highlands he played his first five holes in 2 over. McIlroy started the day at 7 under, three shots behind leader Brian Harman.
Kaymer in six-way tie for BMW International lead
PULHEIM, Germany - Danish golfer Lucas Bjerregaard shot a 5-under 67 to equal the week's lowest round for a six-way share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.
Bjerregaard had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey to finish on 5-under 211 - jumping 23 places and joining local favorites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, England's Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai, and Australia's Scott Hend at the top of the leaderboard.
Bjerregaard was fortunate to play before the wind picked up again later in the afternoon.
Kaymer, the 2008 champion, delighted the home supporters with two birdies in his last three holes for a 71.
Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Chile's Nico Geyger were one shot off the lead after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively.
Defending champion Andres Romero equaled the week's best round (67) to be among a large group two shots off the lead going into Sunday, including three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.
Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.