Smallrus Takes Phoenix Open
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/3/14

Kevin Stadler captured his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday at the Phoenix Open — his tenth victory as a professional. Nicknamed "Smallrus" as a nod to his father, 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler (famously nicknamed "The Walrus"), Kevin Stadler dodged a bullet on the 18th green when Bubba Watson could not get a five-foot putt to fall, which would have resulted in a playoff.

Interestingly, the senior Stadler said that this year will be the final time he competes in the Masters Tournament. We can only hope that Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne and his tournament committee pair father and son together in April. The proud 61-year-old father commented on his son's victory Sunday:
"It's awesome. I never doubted him for a minute. I'm his biggest fan. I’m proud of him. He probably doesn't know it, but I love watching him play on TV and on the Internet.

"I kept saying, you know, when he gets in, that's my last (Masters). I'm going to have to get in a little better shape for the next three months. It's going to be great."
Stadler's nine other victories have come in a wide variety of places; he won the Colorado Open in 2002 with his father on the bag, then racked up four victories on the PGA Tour's minor-league circuit (currently known as the Tour). He also captured the European Tour's Johnnie Walker Classic in 2006.

Canadian golfer Graham DeLaet finished tied for second with Watson by virtue of carding seven birdies in the final round, including at the closing hole. It is the Saskatchewan native's second consecutive 2nd-place finish; he was runner-up to Scott Stallings last week at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Last season, he finished in a tie for second at the Barclays, so DeLaet's golf game is absolutely heading in the right direction. Given his continued excellent play, we expect to see DeLaet in the winner's circle sooner than later; his T-2 in Phoenix moves him up five spots to 34th in the Official World Golf Rankings. Afterward, he acknowledged as much:
"I have been playing well for the last few months. I really feel like I worked super hard in the off-season. It's nice to see it paying off."
Phil Mickelson managed to stave off his back pain and get to the weekend, finishing T-42. Mickelson captured his third Phoenix Open last year, to go along with wins in 1996 and 2005.

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[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
I guess in the USA in 2014, that's considered diminutive.
mustang6560 says:
Rich Lerner noted during the telecast yesterday that Kevin and his caddie weigh a combined 550 pounds.
jasonfish11 says:
No wonder why bubba's putt broke left on 18. Stads and his caddie were standing to the left. Balls break towards the stads.
sticksboy says:
Glad to see he won, good golfer and good guy
GolfSmith7 says:
Can Bubba quit blaming his caddie. You are the pro player, make up your own mind!
mmontisano says:
jasonfish, is this what you're getting at?
slimpks1850 says:
Glad Stad's won. Gerry choked on the putt. He also missed the putt at Augusta but everyone is amazed he hooked it 38 yards.

Still pissed at Louie for his poor chip & putt. How does he let Gerry win that?, 'cmon.
[ post comment ]
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