Golf Buzz

February 3, 2014 - 6:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Kevin Stadler and Craig Stadler
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Kevin Stadler (l) and father Craig played together at Pebble Beach back in 2005. In April, they'll become the first father and son to play in the same Masters.
No doubt, Kevin Stadler was thrilled to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday, edging Bubba Watson by a shot on the final hole for his first PGA Tour victory. Perhaps even more thrilled was his dad, Craig Stadler – not only because his kid had finally broken through on the big stage, but also because Kevin's win means that "the Walrus" and "the Smallrus" will both play the Masters in two months.
 
Making the moment even bigger is that the Stadlers will become the first father and son to play in the same Masters. 
 
"I kept saying, you know, when he gets in, that's my last one,'' Craig Stadler, 60, said on a conference call in the wake of Kevin's victory. "I kept saying, you know, when he gets in, that's my last one.''
 
The senior Stadler, of course, won the 1982 Masters, and owns another dozen PGA Tour titles. Kevin got his first win in his 239th career PGA Tour start, though he also owns a European Tour title and four wins on what is now the Web.com Tour.
 
 
Craig Stadler was asked how he and his son compared to each other.
 
"We both love golf, and I don't know about him but I'm his biggest fan,'' he replied. "He probably doesn't know it, but I love watching him play on TV and on the Internet. He's a hell of an iron player, one of the better iron players I have seen.
 
"Other than that, we don't look even remotely close to each other," he quipped, drawing howls of laughter from his audience on the phone. (For the record, the PGA Tour website lists both father and son at 5-foot-10 and 250 pounds.) 
 
Being in the Masters field with his son will be ''awesome,'' Stadler said. ''I took him [to Augusta National], oh, ages ago, and I don't think he's been there since. Probably 20 years ago. It will be great, an awesome week."
 
 
As for Kevin, he can’t wait to get to Augusta National, either.
 
"[The Masters berth for winning a PGA Tour event] was in the forefront of my mind," he admitted after his victory on Sunday. "[Craig] probably would have liked it better if I had gotten there five years ago or so. He's been telling me for a couple of years I need to hurry up and get there before he calls it quits."
 
One more note before I let this go: Back in 2004, the Stadlers established another golf first. Craig won the Bank of America Championship on the Champions Tour, then merely minutes later Kevin won the Lake Erie Charity Classic on what is now the Web.com Tour. A father and son had won PGA Tour-sanctioned events on the same day only once before – back in 1999, when Bob Duval won the Emerald Coast Classic and son David captured The Players Championship.
 
Kevin Stadler
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Kevin Stadler takes a drop ball on the 11th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 2, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

By Brad Gregory, Co-Chairman, PGA Rules Committee

During the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Kevin Stadler found himself in a sticky situation.

On the 11th hole, his tee shot ended up stuck to a cholla (pronounced choy-yah) cactus. Unable to play the ball Stadler decided to proceed under the ball unplayable Rule, incurring a one stroke penalty and drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the original ball lied in the cactus.

READ: Kevin Stadler makes big move in Ryder Cup standings | Full points list

The television announcers questioned whether Stadler had to retrieve the ball.

Rule 28 (Ball Unplayable) allows a player to substitute a ball no matter how easy or difficult it would be to retrieve the original ball. This was an exceptionally good thing for Stadler as those that play golf in the desert know “there is no joy-yah in cholla”.

Brad Gregory is a PGA Master Professional from Show Low, Arizona, and a Co-Chairman of the PGA Rules Committee.

See video highlights below:

 

February 3, 2014 - 12:29pm
Posted by:
John Byrwa
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Kevin Stadler, 2014 Ryder Cup
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Kevin Stadler carded a final-round 68 to earn his first win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Newly crowned Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Kevin Stadler will now begin to reap the many rewards that come with winning his first PGA Tour title.

There’s the satisfaction of realizing a lifelong dream.

There’s the gratification of knowing that you can perform at your highest level when the pressure is the most crushing.

There’s the two-year PGA Tour exemption and, of course, the hefty winner’s check.

And if that weren’t enough, Stadler and his dad, 13-time PGA Tour winner Craig Stadler, will also make history come April when they become the first father-and-son duo to compete in the same Masters.

But if he keeps up his stellar play, perhaps his most prestigious reward would come in September in Scotland.

With his white-knuckle final-hole victory over Bubba Watson at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Stadler – his birthday is this Wednesday – earned a valuable 1,116.002 points to vault 38 places into the top 10 of the latest Team USA Ryder Cup Points Standings.

2014 RYDER CUP: U.S. Points Standings | How U.S. points are earned | Team USA | Team Europe

Here’s a quick look at the current top 12:

1.      Jimmy Walker (2,417.83)
2.      Phil Mickelson (2,374.98)
3.      Jason Dufner (2,261.28)
4.      Zach Johnson (2,196.28)
5.      Harris English (2,106.94)
6.      Dustin Johnson (2,012.41)
7.      Ryan Moore (1,986.20)
8.      Webb Simpson (1,982.90)
9.      Chris Kirk (1,805.31)
----------------------------------------------

10.   Kevin Stadler (1,492.70)
11.   Brian Stuard (1,228.11)
12.   Patrick Reed (1,217.55)

Watson, who played brilliantly through 68 holes, stumbled down the stretch in Scottsdale to miss out on his first win since the 2012 Masters. He drove it in the water en route to a bogey on the par-5 15th – shockingly, the long-bomber made only one birdie and three pars on the reachable 553-yard hole – then bogeyed the par-3 16th before missing a 5-foot par putt on the 18th green that would have forced a playoff with Stadler.

As a consolation prize, Watson earned enough Ryder Cup points to jump from 50th place to 19th.

Among those who also improved their respective place on the U.S. points standings were Ryan Moore, who jumped from ninth to seventh; Charles Howell III (18 to 15); Chris Stroud (22 to 21); Hunter Mahan (37 to 26); Pat Perez (33 to 27) and Brendan Steele (69 to 49).

This week, the PGA Tour moves to California’s picturesque Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

February 3, 2014 - 12:07am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Russell Wilson and the Super Bowl trophy
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The Seattle Seahawks' big victory in the Super Bowl prompted a lot of discussion from PGA Tour players on Twitter throughout the game.
 
What did you think of the Super Bowl? Among the players on the PGA Tour, there was a pretty wide range of opinion and emotion as the Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos at Met Life Stadium Sunday night. Here’s a collection of tweets from some of our favorite players as the game unfolded:
 
February 2, 2014 - 2:58pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Birdie Box
Courtesy of Birdie Box
Birdie Box will deliver, each month, a personalized box of golf-themed goodies to you or your favorite golfer.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the ninth one:
 
Surely you're familiar with the Fruit of the Month Club. You sign up, and each month you receive a different kind of fruit depending on what you want and what's in season. There are a numbers of variations on the concept, from Pajamas of the Month to Teddy Bear of the Month to Gourmet Jerky of the Month.
 
And now, there's Birdie Box, a subscription club just for golfers.
 
The concept is simple. You buy a subscription – for one month, three months, six months or a year – for yourself, your favorite golfer or maybe a business colleague. In return, your recipient gets a box filled with different golf-themed goodies for each month of the subscription.
 
In each box, the company says, is a mix of the hottest golf, lifestyle and nutritional items that could be anything from balls and tees to wines and cigars to shirts and caps. The product mix will vary from month to month, but each box is guaranteed to contain products valued at $100 or more. 
 
Each box is created especially for each user, based on preferences they list in their profile and feedback from previous boxes. But the content of each box is surprise until it's opened – and that's the fun part. 
 
Subscriptions run from $44.95 for one month up to $500 for a year's worth of monthly boxes, and there are separate subscriptions available for men and women. In addition, Birdie Box has created a ''First Major'' box filled with goodies celebrating the first major of the year and scheduled to arrive in early April, and other boxes for the other majors and holidays like Father's Day are also in the works.
 
For more information, check out www.BirdieBox.com.
 
Previously:
 
February 2, 2014 - 12:51pm
mark.aumann's picture
Phoenix Open fans
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A PGA Tour record crowd of 189,722 attended Saturday's third round of the Phoenix Open.

Saturday's crowd at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was announced at 189,722 -- a new PGA Tour one-day record. Perhaps that doesn't seem like much of a big deal. But just think about it in different ways, and it's a very big deal indeed.

Sunday's Super Bowl will be held at MetLife Stadium, which has a listed capacity of 82,500. That means the folks at TPC Scottsdale on Saturday could have filled MetLife twice -- and there would have been 24,722 people still trying to buy tickets from scalpers outside.

BEST GOLF FAN EXPERIENCES: Check out our five faves!

How about something a little closer to home? Combine the seating of all four of Phoenix's professional home venues -- University of Phoenix Stadium (63,400), Chase Field (49,033), US Airways Center (18,422) and Jobing.com Arena (17,125) -- and you still come up nearly 42,000 seats shy. The 10 Cactus League spring training stadiums hold a combined 107,565 -- 57 percent of what would be needed for Saturday's attendance. Scottsdale's estimated population is 223,514, only 33,792 more than what piled into TPC Scottsdale in one day.

That's a pretty good-sized city right there, bigger than Salt Lake City (189,314), Tallahassee, Fla. (186,971), or Huntsville, Ala. (183,739). In fact, the crowd at the Phoenix Open would have been the fourth-largest city in Scotland, just slightly smaller than the population of Dundee (195,021).

IT'S GROUNDHOG DAY: Bill Murray golfing photos

Let's say you wanted to pack everybody up and take them to next week's AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. The largest passenger jet in the world is the Airbus A380, which has seating for 525 people. So you'd only need around 362 A380s stacked up at the terminals at Sky Harbor International to handle everybody, not including all that lost luggage.

What about the world's largest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas? It has cabin space for 6,296 passengers, which means you'd need 31 ships of that size to ferry every Phoenix Open fan to another port -- although the Salt River is probably not particularly navigable for anything bigger than a kayak. And don't forget to tip your servers and cabin stewards.

And what if you offered to treat everybody to a free round of golf? That's 47,431 foursomes. If your course can handle a foursome every nine minutes, starting at 7 a.m. and having the last foursome off at around 4 p.m. (with no weather delays), it'd take approximately 790 days to get the last group back in the clubhouse. That's two years and two months worth of greens fees. I hope there are a lot of rental clubs and golf carts available. 

Almost 190,000 fans on one golf course? That's a pretty big deal, when you sit down and think about it.