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)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Lena Dunham and Kate Mara hit by a falling sign

Fresh
Lena Dunham, of HBO's "Girls," arrives at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards held at The Nokia Theatre  in Los Angeles.

The "Girls" and "House of Cards" actresses saw stars of their own after an accident at a Venice premiere.

in Lifestyle

Rice replaces ice in India bucket challenge

Fresh
An Indian school boy eats a midday meal provided free at a government school in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. India has offered free midday school meals since the 1960s in an effort to persuade poor parents to send their children to school, a program that reaches some 120 million children. The country now plans to subsidize wheat, rice and cereals for some 800 million people under a $20 billion scheme to cut malnutrition and ease poverty.

The famous "ice bucket" challenge is inspiring thousands of Indians to follow suit, but with a twist - they are replacing ice with rice to help the country's hungry people.

in Entertainment

Charges dropped against Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s suspected drug dealer

In this Jan. 19, 2014 photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The GenArt Quaker Good Energy Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote," was found dead Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in his New York apartment. He was 46.

Drug-selling charges against a friend of late film star Philip Seymour Hoffman have been dropped after officers neglected to read the suspect his Miranda rights.

in Entertainment

Hayao Miyazaki, Harry Belafonte among winners of honorary Oscars

"Ponyo" director Hayao Miyazaki poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 28, 2009.

The Academy announces the recipients of this year's Governors Awards. See who made the list!

in Entertainment

Robert Downey, Jr. calls ‘Guardians’ the best Marvel movie ever

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Robert Downey Jr. stars as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark aka Iron Man in the film, “Iron Man.”** NO SALES **

Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. flies past his own ego with claims that this summer's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is the Marvel movie to beat.