Stadler Shines in Victory

By Sports NetworkJuly 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Craig Stadler had to wait out a two-hour weather delay to win his first Champions Tour title Sunday, as he captured the Senior Players Championship. He carded a 6-under 66 in the final round to earn a three-shot win at 17-under-par 271.
Stadler became the 14th player in history to make his first victory on the Champions Tour a major title and this win came in only Stadler's fourth start on the elder circuit.
'I wanted to win early,' said Stadler, who pocketed $375,000 for the win. 'I wanted to come out and just tell myself, and pretty much a lot of other people, that I can still play well consistently.'
A heavy storm came in at 5:20 PM (ET) Sunday and wiped out play with the final threesome on the 17th tee. The delay lasted almost two hours before the final three groups could complete the tournament.
Tom Kite matched the course record at the TPC of Michigan on Sunday when he fired a 9-under 63. He tied the record Jim Colbert established in 1995 and Hubert Green equaled last year.
Kite tied for second with overnight co-leader Tom Watson (69) and 2002 Tradition winner Jim Thorpe (65)). The trio completed 72 holes at 14-under-par 274.
'I knew what I had to do, to even have a chance to have a chance at this golf tournament,' said Kite, who began the round six shots behind the leaders. 'When I started off and parred the first four holes, it's like, all right, got to get something going here pretty soon.'
He fired a 6-under 30 on the back nine for his highest finish on the Champions Tour this season.
Stadler and Watson began the final round tied for the lead with Mike McCullough, who quickly fell off the pace with a bogey at the first. Stadler wedged his approach at one to eight feet and sank the putt to go one ahead of Watson, who parred the first.
Watson birdied the second to match Stadler in first but both players made a mess of the third hole. Stadler hit a horrible drive and a horrible approach when his third landed in a bunker. Watson reached a greenside bunker in two but played terribly in the bunker and holed an eight-foot putt for bogey as he left his ball in the trap several times.
The two were tied once again and both birdied five and six to remain atop the leaderboard. At the par-5 seventh, Stadler hit a 3-wood in a bunker with his second shot but blasted out to a foot for a tap-in birdie and one- shot lead.
Watson three-putted the eighth for a bogey and now Stadler found himself two shots ahead. Stadler extended his lead at the 10th when he hit a pitching- wedge to four feet to set up birdie.
The par-3 12th proved to be the hole that gave Stadler the title. He missed the green left but chipped in with a bump-and-run 9-iron. Watson bogeyed the hole and suddenly Stadler walked off the green with a five-shot edge over Watson, although Kite and Thorpe inched closer.
'If you want to look for a turning point, that was probably one of them,' said Stadler, referring to the 12th. 'No doubt. I make two and Tom makes four.'
At the 14th, Stadler and Watson both made birdie but it was too late for Watson.
'I had my opportunities,' said Watson, who finished second in his second consecutive major championship. 'Craig just outplayed me. He straight up outplayed me today.'
Kite was in the clubhouse when the horn sounded but Thorpe was in the midst of a great run. Thorpe collected four birdies in a five-hole span when play was stopped on his 18th.
'Seems like there's always something, always something to break the momentum,' Thorpe mumbled to the CBS camera as he headed to the clubhouse to wait out the rain delay.
After play resumed, Thorpe made par at 18 and Stadler made a conservative par at 17. Stadler drove right into the trees at the 18th and took a questionable choice back into the fairway that paid off. He knocked a wedge up to five feet and closed out the championship.
'You really can't imagine how fun it is to putt well for a couple days,' said Stadler, the 1982 Masters champion. 'It's just been so long and God, it's nice, it's wonderful. It's a really good feeling.'
McCullough carded a 1-over 73 to tie for fifth with Gil Morgan (69), Tom Jenkins (69) and Tom Purtzer (65). The group finished at 10-under-par 278.
Ed Dougherty and Dave Stockton shared ninth place at minus-8.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ford Senior Players Championship
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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 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  

    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; or check the GLE app)

    Monday, July 16

    GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

    GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

    GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

    Tuesday, July 17

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Wednesday, July 18

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Thursday, July 19

    GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

    GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Friday, July 20

    GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Saturday, July 21

    GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

    Sunday, July 22

    GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

    Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.

    Getty Images

    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1