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February 12, 2004

Kevin Stadler


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You have the first round lead in a tournament you probably grew up watching on television and grew upcoming to quite a bit, too.

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, I came here, I don't know, probably a dozen times in a row growing up, and then going to college out here. Certainly has not sunk in yet. I walked off the 18th green and in here all of a sudden. It feels pretty good, though.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You won the 1997 Junior World here on the South Course. You obviously had some great memories of winning a golf tournament here.

KEVIN STADLER: It's a completely new golf course now. Just played it for the first time. Still feel comfortable walking out there knowing I've been there so many times. A lot of tee shots are still similar. But it's a different course now than it was then.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You made the cut last week at the AT&T. That probably had to give you some confidence.

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, I played well the first few wound and didn't get anything going. I was pretty flat on Sunday. Knowing that I can compete a little bit out here, anyway, helped calm me down a little bit.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I made knocked it on the first hole in two and ran it probably eight feet by and knocked that in.

Kind of got me calmed done a little bit. Blew it over the green on 2 and chipped in. Got away that one, so thought, might be able to do something here today.

Felt really comfortable out there and hitting pretty solid all day. Just that one tee shot in the wrong place. Only chance I had to make a bogey, so I was kind of cruising along.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Probably. I'm sure it helps. It's definitely more relaxing, just knowing the last week instead of last year or something like that. I think it certainly helped calm me down. I was a nervous a little bit on the first hole and the last hole. In between that, I was pretty comfortable out there.

Q. Pretty good crowd watching?

KEVIN STADLER: Actually there was a few people out today. A few are my buddies were working and couldn't get over. A handful, that I still keep in touch with were out today.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: 14, just before high school.

Q. In your wildest dreams inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: No. Simple answer, no. I don't know. I've been playing well, but I would never have dreamed of this today. Even an hour ago, I wouldn't have thought about sitting here. I made bogey on 15 and I was kind of pissed at myself for screwing up a little short hole and had a good finish. Still don't really know what I'm doing sitting here.

Q. Drives, putters?

KEVIN STADLER: I felt very comfortable on the greens today. I got a few drives out of position. Hit a lot of good putts. Everything either in well, not everything, but the majority of them looked like they had a good chance of going in. I missed a couple little 5 footers. I definitely made up for that with some putts that I made. Everything was working pretty well.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, no doubt. I was probably only pin was way in the back. It was probably only 15, 20 feet. I was only maybe 50 yards from the green off the tee and was pissed at missing the green and kind of mumbling at myself. And walked up there and looked at it, and was like, better do something with this. I hit it perfect and it went in. It was a pleasant surprise but it definitely got me going.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: About a week and a half ago or so. The weekend before, Friday before AT&T.

No, it was out of the blue. I had no idea. Tom Wilson just called and left me a advice mail, I think I was playing the final round of just a little mini tournament down here.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I don't know. I didn't really ask him about it. My dad had nothing to do with him. I don't know. He tried in the past to get me in when he was still playing out here. Might have just been persistent or something, I don't really know.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I definitely don't feel like I should be here because I haven't earned my way out here yet. It's a little uncomfortable, just let everybody know that I got a spot here. It helps having made the cut last week instead of that I can actually play instead of just being handed stuff.

Still, I won't feel comfortable out here until I make my own way out. It definitely helped playing last week and getting back out here right away.

Q. Have you talked to your dad?

KEVIN STADLER: No, I haven't talked to him. I actually thought he was playing today but they don't start till tomorrow. I haven't talked to him.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: No status. Play whenever I can. Going to play Mondays on the Nationwide try to get in that way.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: About a year and a half, the last two years.

Not much. My game has been getting better since I've been out of school. I played pretty well outside of the Q School. That's been my lone really bad experience playing golf as a pro. I don't know what it is. I just played horribly both years I went. I felt comfortable out there this past year. Just got out there and just wasn't working. It's rough. Just got to way wait to another year to go try again.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, probably my short game. I think that's my most obvious weakness. I feel like I drive the ball pretty well. That's probably the best part of it. I just need to tighten up those errant shots around the greens where everybody, all of these guys, they are missing greens and automatically making pars. I'm hope to make 4 or 5 footers when they are kicking them in.

Q. How many TOUR events have you played in and how have you finished?

KEVIN STADLER: I think this is five maybe. I missed the cut one last summer by a shot and just made the cut last weekend. That was it. I played one as an amateur and the other one I missed by a couple I think.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I just turned 24 last week.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Not much, really. I mean, it was great being able to play out there with him. But once we teed it up, we didn't really say all that much to each other. We were just locked into playing our own games. Obviously I had a lot more fun playing with him than playing with somebody else.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Like a comment. You get a look alike comment like every four feet, wherever I go. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it will never go away unless I do something about it.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Again, that's got a lot to do with it. I think it just comes from watching us play so much growing up and it's very similar. I can't point at any one thing. It's kind of scary, especially last week.

People always tell me about how much, how alike we are, and I'm just sitting there looking at him ten feet in front of me the way he's standing and I kind of realize, standing that exact same way. (Laughter.) Kind of shuffle around a little bit to try to get away from that.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Not really. He's always hounded me to be more calm on the golf course. I was a nightmare when I was a junior. I've gotten a lot better going through school and playing a couple years out here where it actually means something instead of just going out and playing. It calmed me down. I don't get as angry anymore. That's the main thing he's tried to help me out with.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I have no idea. I can't really remember. Nothing really, really bad. Just I had a bad temper. It would flare up at times. It was nothing like that drastic that I did, I hope anyway.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Anywhere? Probably watching him win here. Or last summer watching him kind of get back into the game and care a little more and kind of get the fire back. But watching him win out here was really special. I don't even know, what was it, '96 or '94? It was probably the summer right after we moved, and to come back here, and there are just hundreds of people that I know walking around watching him. It was the first time I had seen him win that I can remember. In his heyday, I was only four or five years old.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: He's playing out in Florida this week. Hopefully he'll be I don't want to even think about playing the South tomorrow.

I was thinking that he was playing today. I forgot they don't start till tomorrow. He probably caught a little bit of it. He'll be excited. Nothing out of the ordinary. I take to him almost every day anyway.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I'm sure I will be as soon as I kind of let it sink in. I just try not to think about it.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, just, it's hard. There's only 20 guys, whatever, every year, out of thousands that try. And you add together that your old man has been doing it for ages. I don't know if there's a little more pressure, it's just the mere fact of the numbers that it's hard to get out here. I don't know how many guys stick with it. A lot of them play when they are younger.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Not really. I grew up with it but I don't I've been watching, walking around these tournaments since I was five years old.

I think the outside pressure is probably a little more and expectations are a little higher, but I don't feel any of it on myself. I think some people might have it for me but I don't feel it.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I would like to, but I wouldn't be thinking that. Just playing in it was enough. I've always wanted to play out here and I haven't gotten to that point yet. So I certainly have not been thinking about having the lead or anything like that.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, just hoping for a good round out there so I can just kind of hang on on the South. So I don't have to go out on the North inaudible try to get around there tomorrow.

Q. What tournaments have you played?

KEVIN STADLER: Last week and Pebble. Before that, last summer at Castle Pines.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, I hit a really good drive. I had a perfect number. I had 204 or something like that. It was just right on the number for the 5 iron and just hit it about eight or ten feet left of the hole.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: It's still the same shell. It's still the same course. It's just the pressure is wearing out the 3 or 4 iron. It's different than hitting wedges around the north. Still, every hole is shaped the same, so it's basically the same. Just the greens are different and the length is different.

Q. How often do you play

KEVIN STADLER: Tuesday was the only time. I walked around, watched my dad plays a couple years ago. I think I saw him play nine holes and was just kind of confused looking for the ninth in the 18th tee box and didn't really know where I was going out here. That because the only time I'd seen it.

The Gateway and Phoenix, I've been playing the winter deal, kind of southern California, just up and down the 15 basically. That was it. It's been a year and a half. I played a summer after I finished school in 2002. I didn't really play any tour events. Just before I went to Q School. We got them my sophomore year, I think, and the last two years, we won Pac 10s both years. I think we were Top 5 in the country and then it just kind of a crapshoot out there and it's one week gets you into the big tournament. We didn't get that the last couple of years.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Right now, is that what you're asking? I sent in a deposit. I plan on going out there. I plan on going to five or six Nationwide Mondays, try to get my foot in the door to get back here, and if I don't I'll go play there again.

This one is like a 12 or 14 or something, yeah this, winter one. There's 10 or 11 of them.

Q. Do you have any

KEVIN STADLER: No. Definitely don't want to start thinking about those. No mammals.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: I played good my last summer in the Am. I think I went to the quarters or something like that. Western Am, got beaten in the first round 3 or 4 under and got beat.

Q. Inaudible?

KEVIN STADLER: Just to get full exempt status out here until I kind of feel like I belong. I kind of feel, I don't know, from certain people, that they think that I'm just playing because of my dad and I just want to kind of shed that. But that's kind of the way it is right now. No doubt, he helped me get in. I just need to make my own way out here just to be level with everybody else.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Let's go through your scorecard. You talked about the first two holes so we'll jump to No. 4, the par 4.

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, made probably a 30 , 35 foot putt. Pretty good shot, just spun on me and knocked it right in. I hit 8 iron in, 9 or 9 .

8, I hit wedge. I just drove it barely off the fairway, an inch off the fairway or something and actually kind of helped me. I was a little in between number and just stepped on a wedge and hit it about five feet.

11, I hit 8 iron about 15, 20 feet left.

14, just knocked it about 40 feet, slide it down there and kick in.

15 was a horrendous hole. I hit a bad tee shot. I had a bad lie, hit a bad second shot, bad putt, a worse fourth putt. I had no chance. I drove it left in the rough. It was behind a tree and had to kind of chase it out on the green and it came up a little short. Hit it way by and missed.

17, I hit a little 6 iron. It was into the wind a little bit. Probably the best iron shot. I hit it three feet or something just left of the hole.

End of FastScripts.

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