Stadler jumps into top 10 in U.S. Ryder Cup Standings

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.
By John Byrwa
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, February 03, 2014 | 11:29 a.m.

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)
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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.