Stadlers Game Carrying Weight

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 4, 2001, 5:00 pm
Did Craig Stadler enjoy the near-triple-digit temperatures, Thursday, in Melbourne, Australia?
 
'No, most fat people don't,' replied Stadler.
 
Fortunately for the 240-pound Stadler, he only had to play 12 holes in his match against Craig Parry, trouncing the Australian 7-and-6 in the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
Stadler is the regular guy's golfer. An affable major champion, whose frank manner can attract as well as alienate. A portly figure who only steps inside the fitness trailer to avoid the rain.
 
It's going on five years since Stadler last won a PGA Tour event, the 1996 Nissan Open. In the seasons since, Stadler - affectionately known as 'The Walrus' - has had relative success, though not in relation to self-expectation.
 
A 12-time winner on Tour, Stadler has finished inside the top-90 on the season-ending money list every year since his first full season on the PGA Tour in 1977.
 
However, the past three seasons Stadler has finished the year 85th, 87th and 77th in earnings. His three worst showings in his 24-year career.
 
A runner-up finish at the Shell Houston Open - his best performance in three years - highlighted last season. Normally that would be encouraging, but the pessimistic Stadler has a difficult time finding the silver lining in a four-hole playoff loss to Robert Allenby. Especially when you consider the abundant number of short putts he missed that would have won him Lucky No. 13.
 
Still, Stadler trudges onward, playing in the lesser side of 20 tournaments a year.
 
This week, Stadler made the trek from his home in Denver, Co., to Melbourne, Australia. Had tournament officials had their druthers, the 47-year-old wouldn't be in attendance - no offense intended.
 
Ranked 92nd in the world, Stadler wasn't on the original invitation-only guest list, which is on offer to the top 64 on the Official World Golf Ranking. But when 40 other players opted out, Stadler climbed in and gladly accepted.
 
Stadler is no stranger to success in this three-year-old World Golf Championship event. In the inaugural Match Play Stadler, seeded 59th, defeated sixth-seeded Colin Montgomerie 5-and-3 in the first round.
 
Entering the third round in 2001, Stadler carries a 3-1 overall Match Play record. His lone loss came courtesy of John Huston in the second round in '99. However, Stadler avenged that 2-and-1 defeat with a 4-and-2 victory over Huston in the first round this year.
 
Thursday, Stadler continued his dominant ways, recording seven birdies and five pars in 12 holes. Parry made three birdies of his own but was overmatched on this hot and humid Aussie day.
 
'Unfortunately, Craig missed a bunch of putts.' Stadler said. 'He had four or five (putts) lip out and I putted very well today, a lot better than yesterday. I hit the ball about the same. I just made some putts. Unfortunately, once in a while you get someone who does that to you. I haven't done that to anybody in a long time. It has been a while since I have been seven-under after 12 holes.'
 
Having disposed of Parry, nicknamed 'Popeye' because of his enormous forearms, Stadler will now face Andrew Coltart in Round Three. The lanky Scotsman, whose bellowing voice betrays his frame, defeated ninth-seeded David Toms 3-and-2.
 
Weighing less than 160 pounds, Coltart will certainly have an advantage on Friday should the conditions remain the same - that's if he can lengthen the match.
 
But if there is a positive to Stadler's sweat-soaked stalking around the Metropolitan Golf Club, it's that he's getting a jump on reaching his New Year's resolution.
 
'I want to lose about 35 pounds,' Stadler said. 'If my game takes a turn for the worse, so be it. But I hate the way I have gone back now. I am still 35 pounds less than I was this time last year, but I would like to get back down and stay there.'
 
Before dieting, Stadler weighed in at a hefty 272 pounds. He slimmed down to a healthier 218; and now hovering around the 240-mark, Stadler says he wants to play at 205.
 
For now, Stadler will have to make due with what he's got - which aside from an obtuse waistline includes an acute golf game.
 
Can the Walrus win the $1 million down under?
Share your thoughts!
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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.