Kevin Stadler posts his best PGA Tour finish since 2014, but rough weekend proves costly for part-time Denver resident
By Gary Baines – 4/4/2021
The good news is that Kevin Stadler posted his best PGA Tour finish in 6 1/2 years on Sunday. The bad news is that the part-time Denver resident faltered on the weekend, letting a potential top-10 showing slip through his fingers.
Stadler was tied for fourth place at the halfway point of the Valero Texas Open, but backed up his 69-70 start with scores of 73-76 on the weekend. The result was that he dropped to a 54th-place finish. That’s his best performance on the PGA Tour since October of 2014, when he tied for 28th place in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The Kent Denver graduate earned $17,941 on Sunday at the Texas Open, but he needs some considerably higher finishes in the coming months in order to keep his PGA Tour card. After breaking his left hand late in 2014, he’s playing on a medical extension. And, even after Sunday’s showing, he needs to earn at least $685,699 in his next 11 PGA Tour starts to keep his playing privileges on golf’s top circuit.
Stadler, 41, had a good opportunity at a six-figure payout after his 69 from round 1 matched his best PGA Tour score since 2014, and he followed that up with a 70. But the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion struggled some on the weekend, particularly on the front nine on Sunday, when he shot a 5-over-par 41 with a double bogey and three bogeys.
But looking at the glass half-full, Stadler has now made two cuts in his last four PGA Tour starts after not cashing in 24 consecutive events.
Stadler was a very successful amateur — in Colorado and beyond — before embarking on a pro career in which he’s earned $9.7 million in official PGA Tour money. Stadler won a state high school individual title at Kent Denver and two CGA Match Play championships, in addition to landing the trophy at the 1997 Junior Worlds.
As a pro, besides his 2014 Phoenix Open title, Stadler has won four times on the Korn Ferry Tour, a couple of times internationally, the 2002 Colorado Open and the 2002 PNC Championship title with his dad, 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler.
Also at the Texas Open this week, Denver-area resident and former Colorado State University golfer Martin Laird used a final-round 68 to finish tied for 30th place leading up to his appearance at the Masters. Laird’s 3-under-par 285 total left him 15 strokes behind champion Jordan Spieth, who prevailed in his home state for his first PGA Tour victory since 2017.
For all the scores from the Valero Texas Open, CLICK HERE.
Elsewhere this past week in tour action for players with strong Colorado connections:
— Paige Crawford of Colorado Springs finished second out of 15 players at The Cactus Tour event that ended on Wednesday in Tucson. She posted scores of 73-76 for a 5-over-par total of 149, ending up five strokes behind champion Weiwei Zhang of China.