Stadler hangs on to win Encompass Championship|
Glenview, IL (Sports Network) - Craig Stadler dropped three strokes in a 4-
hole span on Sunday, but managed to hold on to win the inaugural Encompass
Stadler closed with a 1-under 71 to end at 13-under-par 203. Prior to this
event, he had three under par rounds on the season.
"I putted really well all week. I made a lot of putts the last two days and
made some very good putts on the front nine today and just kind of got the
pushes going," said Stadler. "It's been about a six-week process of totally
changing my whole golf game and revamping everything. I'm not sure this is the
fruitions of it yet because I putted just phenomenally well until the back
Fred Couples bogeyed the last for a 6-under 66. He ended alone in second place
at minus-12 at North Shore Country Club.
Mark O'Meara carded a 4-under 68 on Sunday to grab a share of third place. He
ended alongside David Frost (70), Bernhard Langer (69), Tom Lehman (69), Tom
Pernice, Jr. (67), Kenny Perry (67) and Jeff Sluman (71) at 11-under.
Stadler got off to a quick start with birdies at the first and second to push
his lead to four over a pair of players. As his opponents tried to creep
closer, Stadler again converted back-to-back birdie chances at the fifth and
sixth to push his advantage to five over Couples, Frost and Bob Tway.
After a pair of pars, Stadler faltered to a bogey at the ninth to trim his
margin to three over Couples.
Couples, who was five groups ahead of Stadler, birdied the 14th to get within
two. Stadler responded with a birdie on the par-5 11th to move his lead back
Stadler, who hadn't won since the 2004 SAS Championship, stumbled to three
bogeys in a 4-hole span from the 12th to slide to 13-under. He was still one
ahead of Couples, who bogeyed the last to end at minus-12.
The 60-year-old Stadler parred the final three holes to hang on for the
"When's the last time I had anything to win a golf tournament," Stadler
jokingly asked. "It was a while ago. So be it. I missed a lot of them on the
back and made the one at the end."
Couples finished second for the second straight event and for the third time
"I just was hitting good ones and making birdies, and then, you know, got
closer to Craig," Couples stated. "In the long run, really the first round I
played pretty well and only shot 70 and that puts you way behind."
NOTES: Stadler earned $270,000 for the win... The eight years, eight months
and 28 days between victories broke the tour record for longest time between
wins ... Stadler's last top-5 finish was in 2008 at the First Tee Open ... The
tour heads to Pittsburgh next week for the Constellation Senior Players
Championship, where Joe Daley won by two last year at Fox Chapel.
06/23 19:04:03 ET