Father and son gearing up for historic Masters

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 8, 2014 at 2:33 am •  Published: April 8, 2014
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Kevin Stadler might be playing in the Masters for the first time, but he's already showing his old man a thing or two.

Such as the best way to get to the Augusta National media center.

Craig Stadler went through the main door for a joint news conference with his son Monday, which is actually the long way to go. Kevin, meanwhile, slipped in through a back entrance, like most players who turn up for interviews at the building alongside the first fairway.

"How'd you come in?" Craig asked his son, looking a bit surprised when he turned to see Kevin standing behind him.

"Through the door," Kevin replied dryly, very much the child poking fun at his dad.

All kidding aside, the Stadlers are gearing up for a historic week at Augusta National. For the first time, a father and son will play in the same Masters — Craig, who says he'll probably be teeing it up for the 38th and final time, and Kevin, making his debut in the opening major of the season.

"If and when I do ... bow out, I can't think of a better way to do it than playing with your son in the same tournament," the elder Stadler said. "It's awesome."

Sixty-year-old Craig won the Masters in 1982, beating Dan Pohl in a playoff, and has been back every year since. Kevin, now 34, used to come each year as a child to cheer on his dad Now, he's got a spot of his own after winning at Phoenix two months ago for his first PGA Tour victory.

"It's going to be really, really fun to be on the inside of the ropes," Kevin said. "I feel like I know this place pretty well but I've never, ever played it. So it's going to be a blast."

Kevin, whose parents are divorced, has conceded the relationship with his father isn't as close as it once was, and there were times Monday when he seemed hesitant to turn this into a totally feel-good story.

But the pair went out for a practice round — which was cut short after only two holes when heavy rain brought a halt to play — and they're planning to play together again Tuesday, when the forecast called for much-improved conditions. And if they're paired together in the first two rounds, that would be just fine with Kevin.

"I wouldn't have any issues with that," he said, smiling.

Besides, the younger Stadler is making a name for himself, after a lifetime of being compared with his father (right down to their matching physiques, with both listed as 5-foot-10, 250 pounds by the PGA Tour).

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