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February 12, 2006

Kevin Stadler


GORDON SIMPSON: Kevin, congratulations, Johnnie Walker Classic Champion 2006, and I think it's fair to say it was a classic way that you finished off.

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, that was I don't know what happened there. It was obviously the best shot I hit all week. I wasn't sure if Nick had made birdie there on the last. I figured he had, I knew I needed to make at least 4.

GORDON SIMPSON: What did you take out of the bag?

KEVIN STADLER: I hit 3 iron from 220 yards, so about 200 meters into the wind a little bit. Couldn't have been a better number for me, perfect number, perfect pin.

GORDON SIMPSON: So tell us your thoughts on this victory, because a few days ago, I don't suppose you could have anticipated sitting here today.

KEVIN STADLER: No, not at all. (Laughing). Honestly, I'm kind of baffled by it. It was a great week. Except for those three holes today in the middle there, I felt like I had total control of my game and just really enjoyable. Really like the golf course and seemed to suit me well and it worked out.

Q. What were your thoughts at that stage where you had the three consecutive bogeys?

KEVIN STADLER: Nothing much really. The wind was up and I just got some awkward positions. Actually holed a couple decent putts to save bogey those holes. I was really kind of spiraling. I still felt good. Felt like I was hitting pretty quality golf shots and had a couple loose ones there in the middle. I knew the holes coming up, I could get back on track if I could end that train there.

GORDON SIMPSON: And you did steady the ship at 9 and 10 with birdies.

KEVIN STADLER: I almost should have bogeyed 8 as well. I made about a 10 or 15 footer there for par and birdied 9 and 10 to get back at it.

Q. You're going to have pretty fond memories of the 18th.

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, eagle the last few days there, unexpected.

Q. Have you thought at all about what this means?

KEVIN STADLER: I have no idea what the future's going to hold.

GORDON SIMPSON: Are you going to take up membership?

KEVIN STADLER: I would imagine, yeah. I don't see any reason not to, even if I only play a couple of events. I don't know, I had planned on playing full Nationwide Tour, and to be honest with you I have no idea what I'm going to do.

I know there's plenty of spots that I would love to just go to see, let alone to go play on, that The European Tour makes stops on. Hopefully I can check out the schedule and see what's going on. I played a couple of years ago in Switzerland and had just a fantastic time. So even if I don't play the Tour, I'd like to be able to take advantage of it and go play a couple of tournaments here and there.

Q. So your prime reason to come into this week was to play the Nationwide Tour, will this distract you in any way?

KEVIN STADLER: No. It obviously could never hurt. That is that was the main goal for this tournament was just to be ready for those two, which is kind of strange since this is a wonderful event and then kind of going down a little bit for the next couple, but were originally going to be very big on my schedule. The next two weeks were going to be a couple of bigger tournaments for me on the Nationwide Tour.

Just a great stroke of luck that they let me into the event here. And I really wanted to come and get some golf under my belt and get used to the time and the weather and everything. It's just worked out for the best.

Q. Winning against this field must give you a lot of confidence?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, it's a fantastic field. Everything went well for me. I really don't know what to say.

Q. At the start of the week

KEVIN STADLER: I felt pretty good, I've been playing well. I played pretty well last week in the States or the last couple of weeks when I played. I really enjoyed the golf course when I played on Tuesday and the Pro Am on Wednesday. I was striking it well, and a lot of holes seemed to fit my eye and I felt like I had a decent chance.

Q. Which Australians suggested you try to play here this week?

KEVIN STADLER: None of the players, really. Just my buddies back home, a few caddies, a few friends that play, that I played with in college and still trying to get out there.

Q. A lot of young American players fit into a stereotype of going to the gym and grooving their swings�

KEVIN STADLER: What are you trying to get at here? (Laughter).

Q. Do you see yourself as more of an old style player?

KEVIN STADLER: Yeah, I guess. I obviously don't have a very typical swing. I couldn't tell you the first thing about it. I've only have a handful of lessons in my life, really. I think I'm what you would call a quote, unquote feel player, which pretty much takes you back to 10, 20 years ago the golf swing that seemed to be out there and I don't know why that is. I think I just got a lot that from watching hundreds of different players just growing up following my dad around, just kind of being around the game at all times. I don't know if I was just stubborn or didn't care enough to get a teacher when was young. My dad always harped me about it, but I never really felt like the hard-core instruction was for me. So I guess in that regard, yeah, I kind of agree with you. I don't think it's anything too different.

Q. Would you consider yourself more of a feel player or mechanical?

KEVIN STADLER: Oh, yeah, I don't know the first thing about the golf swing. So definitely not a mechanical player.

Q. You're the third American to win in four weeks on The European Tour, do you think you're starting a trend here?

KEVIN STADLER: I doubt it. A couple of those guys came back the last few weeks for some fantastic events in the Middle East. I think early on all the guys like to go out and play elsewhere before the PGA TOUR gets in full swing. I just played here because they were lucky enough to let me in.

Q. How did you lose your Tour card last year?

KEVIN STADLER: How often? Are you talking about

Q. What happened?

KEVIN STADLER: I just didn't finish in the Top 125. I finished way down, 160ish.

Q. Didn't you lose it in unusual circumstances?

KEVIN STADLER: It's hard to say. I played well a couple of times toward the end of the year where a good finish would probably have got me up there. Three or four events left in Las Vegas I got DQ'd in the final round, I think I was 22nd or 23rd, but that was obviously costly. That was looking to be a good opportunity for me, a good paycheck towards keeping my card there.

Q. What happened?

KEVIN STADLER: I had a bend in my lob wedge that I had no idea where it came from. I guess I got DQ'd for having an unconforming golf club at the start of the round, I have no idea where it came from or how it happened. I didn't feel like I did anything to it, it was kind of baffling.

Q. What tournament was that?

KEVIN STADLER: Las Vegas. I had used on the final shot on Saturday on a chip and it was perfectly straight, and it happened on the first hole on Sunday. So I have no idea how it came about.

Q. So that DQ cost you?

KEVIN STADLER: I don't know, that's the hard part, it was on the first hole of the final round, so if I played well, then obviously I would have pretty easily.

Q. What does the first prize mean to you?

KEVIN STADLER: I don't know. Honestly, it's obviously a great thing for me. But as far as events, saying earlier, I still have no idea what I'm going to do. I had originally just planned on playing the Nationwide in hopes of getting on the PGA Tour next year. In the same breath, I thought about going over a couple of years ago when I was struggling to get out on Tour, I was thinking about going over and doing the European Q School. I thought it would be a blast to go play over there. I've always kind of enjoyed their style of golf and had some interest in it. So really, I don't know what to do.

Q. Will it be a big celebration?

KEVIN STADLER: I imagine. (Laughter).

Q. How did you steady things after that start?

KEVIN STADLER: Is it was just four holes there, 5 through 8 that was really my only lapse through the whole tournament it felt like. The fifth hole was my first bogey there. I just made a bad swing, kind of spun out and almost fell over, hit a bad shot and then ended up in a bad spot. It was a pretty easy bogey from there.

Next on the sixth, the par 5, I really thought I hit a good drive and it just kind of caught the bunker there and was two feet from being perfect and had a horrible lie in the bunker. It didn't come out. It came out of the next fairway bunker and pretty much halfway plugged in there so it was a comedy of errors all the way through there. I felt like 6 didn't feel like much more than I deserved on that one.

And then the seventh, again, I had a left to right wind with a right pin which is not a good combo for me. I like to work the ball left to right and just kind of lost it off there and went off to the right of green. Where I was, it was basically begging me to hit a big number and I hit it past the pin and made bogey there. From there on, I feel like I hit it pretty good.

Q. Did you end up ringing your father last night?

KEVIN STADLER: No, I didn't. I got back and I think it was 11, 12 o'clock in the morning, or at night.

Q. Do you know if he made the cut?

KEVIN STADLER: Probably. I think he made the cut. I didn't see the scores. I'll be in touch with him in the next couple of days.

GORDON SIMPSON: Congratulations again.

End of FastScripts.

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