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March 29 2013

3:57 PM

New dad Stallings' game returning

Scott Stallings, with new baby in tow, will be spending the weekend at Shell Houston. (Halleran/Getty Images)

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

HUMBLE, Texas – Finn Stallings.

At six weeks old, he’s the apple of mom and dad’s eye. A sweetheart who pretty much sleeps through the night and figures any hotel room is fine as long as those folks who take care of him are right there next to him.

He’s also a game-changer.

Jennifer and Scott Stallings decided their first-born needed to get adjusted to PGA TOUR life fast, so he’s making the rounds. This week’s Shell Houston Open is his third TOUR stop and dad is starting to wonder if this could be the charm.

“We just decided he was going to be out here, so ... ” Stallings said. There was no time like the present.

Dear old dad missed the cut in Finn’s first two outings, but this week, Scott is 5 under after two rounds and in the thick of things heading into the weekend at the Shell Houston Open.

“For a while it was just Jennifer and me,’’ Stallings said. “And now we’re traveling with an infant.’’

Fatherhood might not have done much for his game the last two weeks, but this week everything’s falling into place. He opened with a 70 and followed it with a 69 that could have been one better if the wind had gusted a second later.

Instead, Stalling had 185 yards to the pin on the 18th and flushed it -- just as the wind came up. Didn’t come close to touching the green.

Stallings shrugged. It could be better, but no complaints. he’s heading into the third round with a chance, something he hasn’t had since he tied for fourth at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. 

He knows there is a delicate balance out here, whether its as a husband, father or golfer  and he’s committed to doing just that.

“I’ve got to learn how to make this work,’’ he said. “I don’t want to be a crappy husband, I don’t want to be a crappy father and I don’t want to be a crappy golfer.’’

And Finn? He just wants to sleep and eat.

Finn got his name because Jennifer, then 7.5 months pregnant, liked it. Scott wasn’t arguing. And Stallings’ caddie Frank Williams – for one – like the nickname. Thinks it sounds like a heck of a name for shortstop.

Or a golfer.

For right now, though, Finn is just trying to get acclimated to TOUR life.

So what is the little guy’s favorite TOUR stop?

“This one,’’ Scott said, “cause his dad is finally playing well.’’

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