It turns out that 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open Champion, Kevin Stadler was having the same concerns that I was, as the tournament was closing out on the 18th hole at TPC Scottsdale. Is there going to be a playoff, and am I going to miss the kick-off at the Super Bowl? What started out with excitement on Thursday, and ended with record-setting crowds in Scottsdale, turned into an event that couldn’t get finished up soon enough. Unfortunately, the Super Bowl was a “dud” as well.
2012 Masters Champion, Bubba Watson took a victory on the PGA Tour, prepared it like a Thanksgiving turkey, and served it up on a platter so Kevin Stadler could win his first PGA Tour event. His shot selection at the 18th hole brought back memories of Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open. I’ll have to admit, the Frenchman’s escapade at Carnoustie was far more entertaining.
With his victory on Sunday, Kevin Stadler picks up his first PGA Tour win, and is now qualified to play at Augusta in April. He will be the first in History to tee it up in a Masters with his father, 13-time winner, Craig Stadler.
The 60 year-old Stadler who’s only career major came at the 1982 Masters, has been waiting for his son to qualify, so he can play his final Masters. They will become the first father-son combination to play together in the Masters when it tees off in April.
Stadler won in his 239th TOUR start, earning a spot in the Masters — a tournament his father won in 1982. The Stadlers are the ninth father-son winners in TOUR history and will be the first to play in the same Masters.
“It’s going to great for me because it’s really my last one,” said Craig Stadler, a 13-time PGA TOUR winner with nine Champions Tour victories. “I kept saying, `When he gets in, that’s my last one.’ … I’m proud of him. It’s awesome.”
I’ll have to admit, I was pulling for Canadian, Graham DeLaet, and young Japanese star, Hideki Matuyama to get into the mix down the stretch. DeLaet got close at Torrey Pines last week, and is close to making some noise on this tour.
His bogey at 15 turned out to be his down-fall, but the 32 year-old Boise State grad made two great birdies at 17 and 18 to put some pressure on the leaders, and was good for a second place tie with Bubba Watson.
The other young American that made some noise this weekend was Hunter Mahan. The 2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion made a run on Sunday, but was always a stroke short, and the bogey at 17 was the end of his hopes. Mahan hasn’t won on the tour since his two victories in 2012.
Mahan wont the WGC Accenture Match Play that year, and the Shell Houston Open. He was leading the Canadian Open this past season, but withdrew with the lead, to attend the birth of his daughter, handing the win to Brandt Snedeker.
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