August 21, 2002
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN
CRAIG SMITH: Kevin, you won two and one or four, four and three.
KEVIN STADLER: Four and three. Four and three, yeah.
Q. Were you ever behind at all?
KEVIN STADLER: No, I was two up after two. And just got down to one a couple times but just had a good time, actually. But I was even on the first tee and that was it. Just the first hole was ugly for both of us. I won the first hole with five, so. Birdied the second one; two up.
Q. Nerves went away with the birdie?
KEVIN STADLER: It wasn't much nerves on the first hole. I just hit a poor drive in the left fairway bunker and was right up against the lip and didn't get it out. Just made a five from there, so.
CRAIG SMITH: Questions?
Q. But you made birdie on No. 2; is that correct?
KEVIN STADLER: Right. Just hit drove the fairway with a 2-iron about probably 60 feet left and hit it to about --
Q. How does this golf course set up for match play, the south course?
KEVIN STADLER: Honestly, it's -- I love this golf course. It's one ever my most favorite courses I ever played. But as far as match play goes, it's not the ideal match play course just because it's so difficult. My idea of a match play course is somewhere where can you take your chances.
Q. Make some birdies?
KEVIN STADLER: Make a lot of birdies. But here whoever is the steadiest, will probably win the match. If you make 18 pars out here, you're going to win.
Q. D J said he made 16 pars and one bogey and won his match. And he said that he didn't think you were going to need a lot of birdies. That there were going to be a lot of birdies winning holes. That par was going to be a good score a lot of times. Do you agree?
KEVIN STADLER: Yeah. I think I only made three birdies today. And that's, I would be happy with that every round. It's so demanding. You have absolutely no chance of making birdie out of the rough. It's 50/50 out of the rough to make par. Then if you do drive it in the fairway, it's still tough from there. You can hit it 6 feet and have a putt that brakes two or three feet.
Q. After you got two up, was there any point in the round where there was a momentum shift or change or a good par save for you?
KEVIN STADLER: Right off the bat on three he hit it in about 20 feet and I hit it off the right side of the green and had a pretty difficult chip. And I chipped it up to about a foot to gimmie range. That spurred me on a little bit. Just if I would have dropped one that quick right away that would have been tough. I don't know. Actually I then went on to lose, I 3-putted four, so I was only one up there. Actually the front nine was just back and forth. I said I was two up early and then one, two, one, then I won nine, actually, no, I won eight and nine. And turned in three up, so.
Q. How much advantage is it to get up to an early lead?
KEVIN STADLER: It's huge. It's huge. To know that you've got, I don't know to get off the bat with an early lead and then know you're running out of holes with less chances to lose it is good. It works harder on your mind too if you, being one down, one up, all day. It's a lot easier to know maybe you got a hole to play with here and there where you don't have to worry about making a bogey.
Q. How many times have you played in the Amateur?
KEVIN STADLER: This is just the second time?
Q. Did you qualify for match play the last time?
KEVIN STADLER: No, I played at Baltusrol and I missed by a shot, so.
Q. What kind of expectations do you have this week or did you bring with you?
KEVIN STADLER: Nothing much really. I just expect to get into match play and then once you get here it's a hole another tournament. It's just I mean I would love to win as I'm sure anybody else here would. But I can't say I came here expecting to do anything drastic like that. Just I have been playing well all summer, so I think I got a chance. In most of the matches, I mean, you can't go in thinking like that, you just got to put everything in the back seat and when you get to the first tee and just take it hole by hole. Especially out here you can't get anything get away from you or else you're dead, so.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about being Craig Stadler's son. I'm not sure -- when you were growing up you had to play golf?
KEVIN STADLER: Not at all.
Q. Or did you play -- I know you were a big hockey fan?
KEVIN STADLER: No, I just I played everything when I was a little kid. Just it's been golf since about I think 8th grade or so. My dad's probably thrilled that I played and excelled a little bit. But he couldn't care less if I didn't play, I don't think. My little brother touches a club maybe twice a year. And he's great with that.
Q. Not disowned or anything?
KEVIN STADLER: No, no. He doesn't care. He's two years younger than me and he's playing D-3 football and my dad just loves that to death. Tries to get out and go to his games and he, I mean he's great. Just as far as growing up with him being my dad, it's, I mean I don't look at him like he's a PGA player or anything like that. It's just like he's a dentist or something. Something normal.
Q. You used to go out on tour with your dad?
KEVIN STADLER: Quite a bit when I was younger. Not much lately. We used to travel every where up until probably fifth grade or so. But in the past probably eight, 10 years I go to probably three or four events a year. Just when I can.
Q. How old were you when he won his first tournament and I'm not sure --
KEVIN STADLER: When he won his first?
Q. Yeah. Was it in San Diego I'm talking on the pro tour.
KEVIN STADLER: Yeah. I think he won when I was probably eight months pregnant.
Q. What are your memories of that?
(Laughter.) I'm pretty sure he won Palm Springs in '80, which is I think that's in January. And my birthday is early February, so it's right before I was born.
Q. Did he give you any advice specific to this tournament? I mean he won this years ago.
KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, he doesn't really say much. He just tries to keep me thinking positively. Nothing much. His saying is take no prisoners is all he says every time, so.
Q. Did you talk to him last night?
KEVIN STADLER: I talked to him just for a couple minutes last night he's playing this week up in Reno, so.
Q. Did he teach you the game or did you learn basically from another instructor?
KEVIN STADLER: When I was younger it was pretty much all on my own. I didn't have many lessons until last three, four years. Just every year growing up since I was probably six I mean we lived in San Diego, it would be mom would drove me off to the golf course and it would be about nine o'clock, pick me up at dark. Just go out messing around and here and there. And played summer's full worth of junior events and, I don't know, I was always playing and never really had any lessons. My dad kind of said something about that, that I would need to get some lessons. And just still it's not too often, just I go every now and then I go see, he gets all his from Dick Harmon and I pop down there not very often. Maybe three or four times a year.
Q. What's really come together with your game the last couple years?
KEVIN STADLER: I think I'm just, I've gotten a lot more consistent. In just kind of every aspect. I used to let a lot of things bother me and I think I'm thinking a lot better. I just had a really short fuse and I think just maturity got rid of that. I was being an idiot out on the golf course. I don't know. I just try not to let anything get to me and just don't let anything fairways me and just take the next hole. So I think also when I, I have been using this long putter for three years now and that's helped out immensely. That used to be a glaring weakness and now it's probably within ever my stronger points.
Q. Is it a weakness with all parts of your putting game or specifically?
KEVIN STADLER: It was, it was ugly for a while there. Just my freshman year at school I felt like I hit it well and just was almost I had had enough of golf I was putting so bad. To go out and shoot 75 because I couldn't get it in the hole and I picked this thing up and it's great. It's helped me a lot.
Q. Just immediate improvement that you saw?
KEVIN STADLER: Yeah. Overnight. Yeah.
Q. Was that tough thing to make that change though mentally?
KEVIN STADLER: Not at all. Just it helped out so there was no reason to worry about it. It was immediately better, so.
Q. How short was that fuse? You're dad used to have a short fuse too?
KEVIN STADLER: We both still do. There's no doubt about that, but it's --
Q. When did it end?
KEVIN STADLER: When I say that, I --
Q. Throwing clubs or that kind of thing?
KEVIN STADLER: No, bad shots would compound and I just would let them bother me and get really negative. Just I would be done. I would just get up there and hit it and not be thinking. I pretty much have gotten over that whole phase though.
Q. You drive everywhere, right, through the summer?
KEVIN STADLER: I was this summer because I played almost every week back east. And flying these days, it was only a couple hundred miles from here to there. It was pretty easy.
Q. How many miles did you put on this summer?
KEVIN STADLER: Probably 3, 4 thousand this summer. Quite a bit. But you're everywhere for six, eight days and have a car helps out, so.
Q. You got dad's caddy this week, are you footing the bill?
KEVIN STADLER: You got me. It's his hometown here, so. We will figure that out. He didn't have to go too far, at least.
CRAIG SMITH: Your caddy's name.
KEVIN STADLER: Jeff Dolf. D O L F.
CRAIG SMITH: Are we okay? Thank you.
KEVIN STADLER: All right. Thank you.
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