2004: Champions Tour - Stadlers turn winning into a family affair
Two states and miles apart, Craig and Kevin Stadler finished in the same spot June 27 – the winner’s circle.
Craig Stadler posted a final-round 8-under 64 at the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, Mass., to capture the Champions Tour’s Bank of America Championship.
In Findley Lake, N.Y., Kevin Stadler had a tougher time outdueling Bubba Watson and Michael Long in a four-hole playoff to win the Nationwide Tour’s Lake Erie Charity Classic at Peek ’n Peak Resort.
“This is probably the best golfing day I will ever have,” said Craig Stadler. “I don’t think another win will ever come close to this. This is incredible. I am so happy for him and so proud for him. . . . I never even dreamed of us both winning on the same day.”
After he posted 15-under 201 – eventually good enough for a four-shot victory, Craig Stadler watched Kevin’s playoff victory in the scoring trailer.
“He waited just long enough until I got to the trailer and I got to watch him win. Made my day,” Craig Stadler said. “I was just a wreck out there watching Kevin all day. I wasn’t paying attention to my game. That’s probably why I played well.”
On the development circuit, the younger Stadler, playing on a sponsor exemption, was looking for his first victory. A par on the fourth extra hole earned him $81,000 and a place to play for this year and next.
“The whole thing is unreal, everything has done a 180 in the last hour,” Kevin Stadler said.
Kevin Stadler posted a 2-over 74 to finish at 9-under 279 with Watson (68) and Long (67). Long was eliminated on the first playoff hole.
“I figured if I won, he would probably win,” Kevin said of his dad. “He tries to one-up me all the time.”
The only other time a father and son have won PGA Tour-sponsored events on the same day was when David Duval won The Players Championship on March 28, 1999, and father Bob took the Emerald Coast Classic on the senior circuit.
Craig Stadler, who earned his fifth Champions Tour victory and second title of 2004, was playing proud pop.
“I’m an old, decrepit golfer having fun. But he’s just starting out,” he said. “It opens the whole world for him. It’s a good stepping stone for him.
“He’s gone from making the cut in the (U.S.) Open to having status as a Nationwide winner. He’s a completely different person on the golf course than he was a year ago. You’ve got to have a world of patience. I watched him play 72 holes (at the Open) and never dreamed he could be that patient.
He played well on Sunday even with the debacle at No. 7 (triple bogey en route to 85). It’s all a learning process. (Open) Sunday will do more good than harm.”
One week later, it already was paying dividends.