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July 28, 2006

Craig Stadler


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Craig, 65 65, 131 9 under after 36 holes. A little bit of a different day, you got it going on the back with 31 and put yourself in good position headed into the weekend.

CRAIG STADLER: It was different. The wind was opposite today from what it was yesterday afternoon. Made it coming in a little harder I guess the last four or five. But you know, it was very playable, very good conditions again. It was very nice and it stopped raining before we teed off which is nice. Again, very scorable. Pins were about the same as they were yesterday, couple of them maybe a little tougher to get to. But good golf course and it does play a little bit tougher with this wind the way it was today I think.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Let's go through the round if you could.

CRAIG STADLER: Made a good par on 1. 2 putted about 40 feet after driving in the right garbage. Hit it over the green left, not a very good chip about eight feet, missed that and made bogey.

Par 3, missed makeable putts on 4 and 5; 10 feet on 4 and 12 feet on 5.

Very good shot on 6. Just really hit hard with a 5 iron to the back of the green about 40 feet and made that for birdie.

Two good shots about 7 about eight feet for eagle. Just messed that. Just caught the right edge there.

Two putts for par, 8.

9, I drove it down the left. Hit it right, little 7 iron didn't get there short of the green and 3 putted from there, bogey.

Sand wedge on 10. Good shot just cut the front hill and spun back down off the green and chipped in there from probably about 35, 40 feet for birdie.

12, driver, 6 iron about 20 feet and made that for birdie.

3 wood 7 iron on the next hole and made that for birdie, 20 feet.

Two putts for par on 14, 15, 16.

17, I hit 3 wood off the tee and 5 wood just short the green of the green, horrible chip about ten feet by and missed that.

3 wood 6 iron on 18, hell of a shot about six feet and made that for birdie.

Q. Do you fancy your chances?

Craig STADLER: If I can just get the ball in play a little bit more. I hit six fairways yesterday. I don't know how many I hit today. It wasn't many more, I don't think. I hit every one on the back nine, so I hit seven of the back nine. Front nine, I hit two.

So I need to get the ball in play a bit better. And I was fortunate today. I hit it way in the gunch left in two on 9 and hit a straight one to the right on 8 and missed those bunkers and it was fine, down the left stuff on 9. Need to get it in play a bit more. Made all of the putts yesterday. I made some today but I missed four or five from 12 feet or in today, which I didn't do yesterday. But still made some putts today, so I can't complain. It was a good, solid round yesterday, and today was probably as good as it could have been.

Q. Isn't it nice to have the thought that if you hit more fairways, you'll do better?

CRAIG STADLER: Yeah, I guess it shows. I hit two on front nine, shot even par. I hit all of them on the back and shot 4 under. Kept it in play for one and got in the bunkers on two. I tried to do the same on 17 and the opposite happened. I hit 3 wood yesterday and 2 with a fine. Today I had 3 iron and 200 yards left and I had three. Yesterday I hit driver way down there on 17 and made three. Today with the wind into it and a little left to right, or a little right to left, I made sure I stayed short of the bunker and made five. So I mixed and maxed okay I guess. Should have gone 4 4, instead I went 5 3, so that's okay.

Q. Are you one who welcomes the new faces coming out on the Champions Tour next year or do you hope they won't play much?

CRAIG STADLER: No, absolutely not the second, the latter of those two thoughts. I think there's probably some guys that would give that a consideration as to where you've got more competition now. I'm glad there's guys coming out that will keep the interest up, maybe pique the interest on the Champions Tour, and this event. This event is fairly young and it was pretty much unheard of five years ago and now we're slowly getting into the limelight a little bit, which it needs to be. It's for us every bit as important as the Open for the regular tours.

You know, certainly having Nick and having Langer in the field next year will not hurt by any means. It will certainly help the stature of it and keep us building this event over here.

Q. Would you like this championship to stay on links courses?

CRAIG STADLER: I would. I think it belongs there, absolutely.

Q. Do you think this event has increased in popularity because of the bigger names in the field?

CRAIG STADLER: Well, I think you're getting stronger fields from America which you haven't had until probably the last four years. I don't think it it wasn't an event, it wasn't a major, it wasn't really our major schedule and, you know, certainly as I said before, it certainly should be. But you're getting support now from the Watsons and the Zoellers and pretty much this year, anyway, Loren and Jay and the Kites playing every year and you get the names that people have watched over here for years in the Open.

I think the only down, if you could put a negative to this event, the only thing I would think is that it's the week after the Open, which I'm sure from spectator point takes away a lot from it. It would be nice if somehow we could get a two or three week break either side from the Open.

But, you know, that being said, I think it's wonderful that we're back playing here; that we're playing Muirfield, and it seems as though the effort it to try to get us on somewhat of a rotation with the Open Championship and I think that's where this tournament belongs.

Q. Do you think that there's more personalities out here than on the other tour?

CRAIG STADLER: On this tour? Absolutely. PGA TOUR, anyway, I haven't played The European Tour in a while, but the PGA TOUR has become fairly robotic for the most part. With that being said, I think it's very understandable with the dollars these guys are playing for now. You know, you used to 10, 12, 15 years ago, if you got over a putt to finish ninth or 12th and it was $5,000 or $6,000 difference. Now you get over one to finish 15th or 20th and it's still a $50,000 difference.

So you're getting a lot more I guess, I don't know what you would call it, a lot less personality and a lore more grinding and 9:00 to 5:00 jobs out there than you used to have, but there's a lot more at stake.

Q. Do you ever watch golf on TV?

CRAIG STADLER: Do I? Not very often. Hardly at all. I'll watch the majors, and the Ryder Cup, regular events no. To answer your question, no. I've really never watched much golf on TV. I play enough of it and I don't really have much interest in watching a whole lot of it. I'll watch the Ryder Cup. I'll watch this, I'll watch The Masters. When I get home I'll turn it on and watch it because it's different golf, it's enjoyable to watch. But regular events, hardly at all. Unless Kevin's playing well, then I'll turn it on.

Q. Is there too much emphasis on stroke-play events?

CRAIG STADLER: I think our Tour could do most anything. I would love to see a U.S./European match Ryder Cup Tour type series maybe or just a one week event. You know, they have talked for years about going strictly to best ball as opposed to best ball for one and stroke play for the others. The complaint is, how are you going to work it when you play best ball making official money. Well, why can't you work that? I mean, my question is, why?

We're not the PGA Tour. We're not supposed to be the PGA Tour. Certainly in Jacksonville some people want to make us more like the PGA Tour I think. I totally disagree with that. We're a different competition, we're a different entity, we're a different animal completely from the Tour. I think it would be wonderful if we went away from that; if we had a match play event; if we had a best ball event. We have three or four now, AT&T type events or what is it, it used to be the Bob Hope, where you play with an amateur. We have three or four of those now. I think it's wonderful.

We are a different animal. We are different from the PGA Tour. We could easily enact tournaments and sell tournaments that are different. They are fun for the players, they are fun for the spectators. I do wish there was a bit more of that.

Q. Is there any interest in a possible Senior Ryder Cup in the future?

CRAIG STADLER: I think there could be easily. I think the players would enjoy it. You know, we could do it in September every year, just happened to have it every other year. It's certainly not going to generate nearly the press that the regular Ryder Cup does, but I think it would be a fun thing to watch. It would be wonderfully fun for the players. There as been some talk of that in the last few years, very little, but a little bit here and there.

I think it would be great for the European Seniors Tour to get mixed in with ours a little bit because it's relatively new and fairly successful, but still, when you compare it, you know, we're playing for a 1.8 million every week and The European Senior Tour is playing for, what, 150,000 pounds every week.

Q. Do you think players like Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer would support something like that?

CRAIG STADLER: You know, again that is something you'd like to see, but that's up strictly up to them how much they support it. I would assume with Bernhard and Nick, if they can find the time to support the Senior Tour, then I think it would certainly help.

Q. A senior Ryder Cup?

CRAIG STADLER: Oh, senior Ryder Cup? I would think they would. It doesn't have to be a senior Ryder Cup. You can call it whatever you want. It certainly would be nothing on the level of the regular Ryder Cup, but it would be a fun event for the players and as I said I think it would be a very fun event for the spectators.

Q. Is the Champions Tour a continuation of your personalities developed on the PGA TOUR?

CRAIG STADLER: Oh, sure it is, absolutely. It is pretty much true to form, the guys that have some fun and some personality on the regular tour are the guys that have most of it out here.

But you do get a lot more guys that have been pretty steady on the regular tour and they break it out a little bit out here which is nice, nice to see. Some guys, it's like, my God, I didn't know you had some personality, that's pretty cool. (Laughter).

Q. Are you going to play golf this afternoon?

CRAIG STADLER: No. Just the guys that came with us, I'm not. I've had enough.

Q. Are you going to work out? Gary Player went to work out for two hours after we talked to him yesterday?

CRAIG STADLER: No, maybe an hour and a half.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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