After 239 starts, Kevin Stadler finally won his maiden PGA Tour event at the Waste Management Phoenix Open - and, in doing so, he joined his father Craig as a winner on the world’s richest golf circuit.
Stadler Jr closed with a 68 to win by a shot from former Masters champion Bubba Watson and Canadian rising star Graham DeLaet at TPC Scottsdale.
As well as vital world rankings points and a cheque for $1,116,000, he also earned a first invitation to this year’s Masters Tournament where he will finally get to play at Augusta National alongside his dad, a winner of the event in 1982.
Afterwards, Kevin admitted that it was just a relief to get the monkey off his back and finally make the breakthrough on the PGA Tour.
“I feel like I have gotten a lot better the last couple years, had a couple more chances,” he said. “I have kind of had some ease keeping my card the last few years, but I really haven't had too many chances to win.
“I had a couple last year I let get by, and so to pop one off early in the year is pretty cool.”
"It's going to be really cool walking around with my dad" - Kevin Stadler
Craig and Kevin are the ninth father-son combination to win on the PGA Tour and the first since Bill Haas won in 2010 to join his father Jay.
Asked if having such a famous and successful father had made forging his own professional career a little harder, Kevin added: “Not at all. It's the only last name I have ever had, so it's just normal for me. Everybody asks me that question, and I don't even think about it.
“I guess I understand why people would expect it, but it's just normal.”
The opportunity to play Augusta National with his dad is something that Stadler is understandably very excited about.
“I have been there a lot,” he said. “I used to go when I was a kid all the time. But I don't remember the last time I was there. It's probably been seven or eight years.
“I think I have been once since I have been playing out here, and I kind of decided I didn't want to go back there until I could go tee it up.
“I’m just looking forward to everything. It's going to be really cool walking around there with my dad.”
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