Stadler Wins JELD-WEN Tradition

By Sports NetworkAugust 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
ALOHA, Ore. -- Craig Stadler posted a 5-under 67 Sunday to win the JELD-WEN Tradition by one stroke. Stadler completed the season's fifth and final major at 13-under-par 275.
Stadler trailed by eight strokes during round three. However a double-eagle two on the par-5 16th Saturday, turned his fate around.
'I was never in this golf tournament until a hole and a half to go,' said Stadler, who picked up $345,00 for the win. 'I guess it was fairly surprising at the end. You look at the board all through the day and it didn't look like I was in it.'
Jerry Pate at one point owned the lead late in the round, but closed bogey-bogey to end in second place at 12-under-par 276 after a round of 6-under 66. He was joined there by Allen Doyle, who carded a final-round 1-under 71.
Overnight co-leaders Peter Jacobsen and Vicente Fernandez struggled to final round 73s to finish two shots back at minus-11. They were joined there by Andy Bean, Bruce Fleisher, D.A. Weibring, Tom Kite and Doug Tewell.
Stadler, the 2003 Ford Senior Players Championship winner, opened with birdies at the first and third to move to 10 under. However, he fell off the pace as he bogeyed Nos. 4 and 8, both par-4s.
The Walrus caught fire on the back nine. He birdied the 10th and the 12th, both par-4s, to return to minus-10. After the second of his two back nine pars, Stadler tripped to a bogey at the par-3 14th.
Stadler turned it up a notch from there. He birdied the par-5 15th and came right back to birdie the next to get to 11 under on the South Course at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club.
The 51-year-old converted his third straight birdie at the 17th to forge a four-way tie for the lead at minus-12. Stadler, a six-time winner on the Champions Tour, got up-and-down for birdie at the last to take the lead with four players left on the course.
'I'm still shocked I won this week,' Stadler said. 'I didn't really putt well all week, but I made some coming in today. I hit a good shot on 17, made birdie and never dreamed Pate would bogey 17 and 18. I got up to the 18th green and saw the leaderboard with the bogeys and said, 'you know they keep opening the door a little bit and somebody's going to stick their foot in there and fortunately it was me.''
Pate roared up the leaderboard as he played his first 15 holes in 6 under par to jump to minus-12. He then holed out from the fairway at the par-5 16th for eagle to move to 14 under.
Owning a one-stroke lead, Pate stumbled in with back-to-back bogeys. He was aiming for his first win since the 1982 Tournament Players Championship on the PGA Tour.
Doyle played his first nine holes at even-par with one birdie and one bogey. Around the turn, he parred the first six holes of the back nine. He then moved to 12 under with a birdie at the 16th. However, he could only manage pars at the last two holes to end there.
Jacobsen, the hometown favorite, never got anything going on Sunday. He bogeyed the first and fell three behind Fernandez, who birdied the same hole. Jacobsen got back to 12 under with a birdie at the 12th.
Standing in a logjam top the leaderboard, Jacobsen's tee shot at the 17th came to rest inside a hazard line, but on grass. Standing in the water hazard, Jacobsen tried to play his second from a tough stance. He barely got his club on the ball and it splashed into the water.
Jacobsen, who donated his earning back to JELD-WEN for their commitment to the event, eventually left the 17th with a double bogey. He birdie the last to join the crowd in fourth place.
'I hit six or seven putts today that looked like they were going in, but didn't,' said Jacobsen, who said it would be a dream come true to win this event.
Fernandez owned the lead most of the final round thanks to his birdie at the first. He battled to 14 straight pars to remain atop the leaderboard. The Argentine fought a balky driver down the stretch.
At the 16th, Fernandez lost his drive in the left rough and struggle to a bogey. His drive at 17 flared right and led to another bogey that dropped him to 11 under. Needing an eagle at the last to force a playoff, Fernandez could only par the hole to finish two shots back.
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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.

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    Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

    The Monday morning headline will be …

    REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

    RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

    MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

    JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.

    Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

    HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

    LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

    BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

    COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.

    Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

    HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

    LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

    BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

    COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.

    What will be the winning score?

    HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

    LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

    BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

    COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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    Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

    Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

    Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

    This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

    While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

    Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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    McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

    Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

    “It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”

    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

    “Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

    He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.