May 28, 1998
WES SEELEY: 33, 34, 67, 5-under par for Craig Stadler who is one behind our leaders. Tell us about this bogey-free round.
CRAIG STADLER: Well, I actually played pretty well for a nice change. It's been a while. But i made a couple bad swings on 11 and 12 and recovered real well for pars. Made about a 6-footer for par after having 3-wood for my third shot, then chipped in for -- hit a lot of good shots, missed some putts, made some decent putts. Other than those -- well, No. 4, I hit it in the left bunker on 4 and made about a 12-footer for par. Other than those three, I was 10, 15, 20 feet for birdie every one.
Q. Tell us about the five birdies, first one on two.
CRAIG STADLER: Two, I drove the fairway and hit a 9-iron about 15 feet, made that, as I said. On 4, hit it in the bunker made about a 12-, 15-footer for par. 6, 8-iron about 12 feet behind the hole. 7, drove the right rough, laid it out, hit 9-iron about same: 10, 12 feet, made that. Missed a couple, missed about a 6-footer at 9; missed about a 10-, 12-footer at 10. 11, I drove left in the trees, chipped it out on the fairway, hit 3-wood to about 20 feet, kind of escaped, hit that one about 8 feet by, made that for par. Buried the front bunker on 12, got on the front fringe, chipped in for par. Then missed a couple putts. Missed about a 12-footer at 13. About an 8-footer at 14. 15, hit 3-wood just on the back fringe, chipped it about 4 feet made that. Missed about a 15-footer at 16. 17, 3-wood 9-iron about 15, 18 feet, made that. Then made about a 5-, 6-footer for par on the back fringe on 18.
WES SEELEY: 67. Questions for Craig.
Q. Is that the best you've putted in a while? Sounded like a lot of nice putts.
CRAIG STADLER: Up until the last two weeks, I've been putting well. Last six, eight months, it's been one or two shots here or there that have ruined a lot of decent rounds. No, I made a few adjustments, got back to where I was last year. I've been putting well, or well for me. A lot better than I used to in the early '90s, late '80s. Putting pretty consistent the last 14, 16 months. But I did, I rolled the ball real well today. A couple made four or five really good putts that I thought had a good chance to go in. Hit one that I thought I totally misread and it went in, so that's fine, too.
Q. How was this course for your game?
CRAIG STADLER: It probably helps my game because I don't drive the ball poorly, but I don't drive it real straight. The fairways are generous here. I drove the ball down the left side on 5, which normally wasn't a very good shot. I was still in the fairway, had a chance to play it down, hit a sand wedge in. I've had a lot of good rounds here. I haven't had much success here, but I've had a lot of good rounds here. Not many on Thursday. So hopefully get out of the box good and keep going.
Q. You said you had a couple holes here and there that ruined good rounds. Did you feel you were on the verge or due for a day like this or not?
CRAIG STADLER: I would make a lot of birdies, been hitting a lot of good shots. Like Colonial last week, I made 7 birdies on Saturday and still shot 1-over par. And the 7 birdies I made, a couple of them were two putts, and one of the other five was over like 5 feet. But I made two doubles and four bogeys, or something. And just every time, it seemed I made a couple birdies I dumped it in the water and I birdied 9, 10 and 11 -- 9, 10, 11, 12. On Friday, I dumped it on 13 and made a couple. Birdied 15, 16, bogeyed 18. Stupid little stuff like that, but just a lot of back-to-back birdies and then it's almost like a disaster waiting to happen. And today, I got a little greedy on 12. I tried to shove it over the pin a little bit and missed it just a hair and buried it in the front bunker, which was just dead. But I got fortunate. I hit the top of the bank, came out on the front fringe and chipped in. Just the little things like that that haven't been happening to keep a round going. Maybe I shoot 70 or 71 or something. You need those little things to happen to keep the round going, and they haven't been. Get a little different grass. Not having grown up on the West Coast, I'm not adapted to chipping on Bermuda, and I chipped lousy the last two weeks. The short game was pretty good today.
Q. Craig, how about your son, has he decided what he's going to do? Is he out here with you at all?
CRAIG STADLER: He's not out here. Decided what he's going to do?
CRAIG STADLER: His plan goes for about a week at a time, but he's playing golf all summer.
CRAIG STADLER: Uh-huh.
Q. Will you be watching him or going home?
CRAIG STADLER: Yeah, I'll probably go to a few with them. He's never played bad when I've watched him. I'll have breakfast and dinner with him and see him in between maybe. He's going to play the full summer.
Q. I had never seen Peter Jacobsen's comedy act until yesterday. Have you ever seen it?
CRAIG STADLER: No, never.
Q. He does one of you. I was curious if you had ever seen it before?
CRAIG STADLER: No way.
Q. He looks more like you than you.
CRAIG STADLER: Yeah, let it go.
Q. So you've never seen it?
CRAIG STADLER: Plenty of times.
Q. What are your thoughts on it? Is it funny for you?
CRAIG STADLER: I really don't have any thoughts on it one way or the other. It's pretty entertaining, put it that way.
Q. Would you like to impersonate him some day?
CRAIG STADLER: No. Not much to impersonate, is there? Just talk the whole time. He does a good job, though. No, I was out on the practice green yesterday -- I mean, he was miked so you could hear what he was doing. I've seen every one he does and they're all very good. Once I lose weight, then he'll have to find somebody else.
Q. Then he's in trouble. Your occasional lapses, are they more mental? You've been hitting shots or just not thinking?
CRAIG STADLER: Probably mental. I've pretty much, the last few weeks been a basket case mentally. Just a lot of little stuff bothering me and get under my skin a bit, and which is odd. I had a month off before I went to Texas, and you would think with a month rest you would come out in a pretty good frame of mind. It's almost the opposite. When I'm playing five out of six or seven weeks or something, I'm usually pretty even keel. When I take time off and come back, I kind of expect results probably sooner than I should. But, I don't know. Hopefully, like I said, today I kind of worked it out today and just had a real enjoyable time. This is the first round of golf I enjoyed in a long time.
Q. Did you practice much in your month off?
CRAIG STADLER: No. No. I did the last four or five days before I came out. Worked pretty hard yesterday and it paid off.
Q. The things that got to you, were they with your golf game? Were they things that happened on the course?
CRAIG STADLER: Uh-huh, pretty much.
Q. Bad slots, missed putts?
CRAIG STADLER: You can pretty much guess. You're probably right.
Q. You were talking about you didn't shove very well?
CRAIG STADLER: I said I was standing on the fourth tee Sunday -- Saturday at Colonial, and I guess it was Sunday, and I just -- I drove in the left trees on three and chipped it out short of the green, chipped about 10 feet by and missed it and made bogey. We were waiting for the group ahead of us on 4 and standing on the tee and I started adding them up in my mind. I missed within, you know, from here to the door or closer. I had missed 18 greens the first, what, 57 holes, I got up-and-down three times. And just, you know, that pretty much speaks for itself. It's pitiful, and you know, a lot of it had to do with the grass. As I said, not growing up on Bermuda, I'm not very good at the greens. It's more of a guessing game than anything. It's just something that I addressed yesterday. I worked quite a bit out on the practice green hitting wedge shots, hitting flop shots, chip shots, you know. It's different grass up here. It's what I'm used to, what I learned on, what I grew up on. It's easier. I got a little more confidence out of it.
Q. At this stage of your career, why don't you just say I'm not playing courses in that part of the country where they have this?
CRAIG STADLER: I've done that. I only played nine weeks this year. I can't eliminate every golf course. I can play here, I'll play L.A. when it goes back to Riviera. I'll play San Diego. I played four times. It's about time you got in here.
Q. One more question.
CRAIG STADLER: I played well at Colonial, so.
Q. Any change in your equipment recently, you know, new putter, new whatever?
CRAIG STADLER: New irons a couple weeks ago.
Q. How many?
CRAIG STADLER: Actually, old iron is back in the bag.
Q. How many weeks ago?
CRAIG STADLER: Dallas three weeks ago.
Q. From what to what then?
CRAIG STADLER: From Top-Flite to Top-Flite, just my old set that I'd been using.
CRAIG STADLER: Cavity-back, yeah, the old Tour Edition.
Q. What do you think of this equipment business, the brouhaha that's going on now?
CRAIG STADLER: As far as?
Q. Changes in the ball, changes in clubs, whatever.
CRAIG STADLER: I don't really know what you're talking about as far as brouhaha.
CRAIG STADLER: I don't know, what's going on?
Q. What the USGA wants to do with regards to the --
CRAIG STADLER: I don't know. I don't know a thing about it.
Q. They want to dump the Callaway driver.
CRAIG STADLER: Dump the Callaway driver, I'm not using one.
PAYNE STEWART: It won't affect you, will it?
CRAIG STADLER: It won't affect you either.
WES SEELEY: Is that it for Craig today? Thank you.
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