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)

Recently Played

Latest Headlines

in Black Friday, Viral Videos

Black Friday facts that will make you think twice

22-overlay2

Before you wait in line for doorbuster deals, check out these Black Friday facts.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 28

willienelson

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘Frozen’ tops Barbie as top girls’ holiday pick

frozen

The results marked the first time in 11 years that Barbie hasn't held the No. 1 spot in the annual toy survey.

in Music

One Direction makes Billboard history

FILE - This Nov. 26, 2013 file photo shows One Direction members, from left, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan on ABC's "Good Morning America"in New York. A representative for One Direction says the band’s lawyers are dealing with a video showing two band members smoking what the singers referred to as an “illegal substance.” British tabloid The Daily Mail posted a five-minute clip Tuesday, May 27, 2014, of Zayn Malik smoking and speaking with Louis Tomlinson, who is filming.

The British boy band became the only group to score four consecutive No. 1 debuts on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.

in Black Friday, Viral Videos

Jimmy Fallon’s favorite #ThanksgivingFails

13-overlay6

Think you've had a rough Thanksgiving? It could always be worse.