News

Walrus and son ready for a ‘very cool Masters’

Walrus and son ready for a ‘very cool Masters’

THE MASTERS:Craig Stadler (C) of the U.S. watches his hole-in-one on the first hole during the Par-3 tournament ahead of the 2011 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 6, 2011. Photo: Reuters/Hans Deryk

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Craig Stadler is ready for “a very, very cool” experience at this week’s Masters where he and his son Kevin will become the first father-son duo to compete together in the season’s opening major.

Kevin Stadler made it all possible when he won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open in February, and just in time with his father planning to make his final appearance at Augusta National in this year’s edition.

“I can’t think of a better way to do it (make his Masters swansong) than playing with your son in the same tournament,” former champion Craig Stadler told reporters at a rain-drenched Augusta National on Monday with his son sitting by his side.

“It’s awesome. This is a very, very cool thing, and thanks to Kev here, I got back to the (interview) room for the first time in about 20 years. I haven’t been here since it was built, I don’t think.”

The elder Stadler, who won the 1982 Masters along with 12 other titles on the PGA Tour, has taken great satisfaction from watching his son develop into a champion golfer on the U.S. circuit.

“I’m so proud of the way he’s played the last three, four years,” said the 60-year-old, who is affectionately nicknamed “The Walrus” because of his portly build and fulsome moustache.

“He has been close (to winning) a zillion times and finally got it done, so this will be a very special week.

“I’m just going to be out there slashing around, trying to make the cut, and he’s going to be trying to win the golf tournament. It’s going to be a wonderful week for us.”

Kevin, popularly known on the PGA Tour as “The Smallrus,” relishes the prospect of competing in his first Masters along with his father.

“I’m incredibly excited to be here and to play, and it’s going to be really, really fun to be on the inside of the ropes,” grinned the 34-year-old.

“I feel like I know this place pretty well but I’ve never, ever played it (in competition). So it’s going to be a blast. Just don’t really know what I’m getting myself into but it’s going to be really enjoyable.”

Asked when he first realized the significance of his father’s Masters victory, the younger Stadler replied: “I was two years old when he won it, so he was always Masters champion when I was a kid.

“It was just kind of a tag line that he earned when I was too young to recognize it. And obviously it was cool (for him) to be able to come here and play for as long as he wants the rest of his life, that’s pretty special.”

Kevin Stadler, who won the European Tour’s Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia in 2006 and four titles on the lower-tier Nationwide Tour, has fond memories of watching his father compete at Augusta National.

“It was great for me to be able to tag along and walk around here,” he said. “I couldn’t wait for April every year, when I was a kid, to come out here and just run rampant around the golf course. It was what I got the most enjoyment out of when I was a kid.”

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

Latest Stories

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties

Fire Destroys Albemarle Home

Fresh
Albemarle Fire and Rescue 030408

Still no word on what caused the fire on Hildridge Drive.

in Entertainment

‘Downton Abbey’ to end after season six

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows, from left, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, and Sophie McShera as Daisy, in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey." As it returns for its much-awaited fourth season, it remains a series about elegance, tradition and gentility, and the pressures of preserving them. The show premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

Producers confirm that the next season of "Downton Abbey" will be the last.

in Sports

Aaron Hernandez trail delayed by bomb threat

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez listens during a motion regarding jail phone recordings during his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Hernandez is accused in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.

A bomb threat has delayed proceedings of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, UVA

Martese Johnson Next Court Date May 28th

Johnson Martese Sign Justice For Martese 032615 (DZ)

During a brief hearing Thursday morning, the next court date for Martese Johnson was set for May 28th.

in National, World

Police search house of pilot who crashed A320

Police hold media away from the house where Andreas Lubitz lived in Montabaur, Germany, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Lubitz was the copilot on flight Germanwings 9525 that crashed with 150 people on board on Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The co-pilot of the airliner that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people aboard, appears to have brought the plane down deliberately.