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April 26 2013

1:03 PM

Stadler/Triplett set early pace

By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Craig Stadler's health and game haven't been up to where they once were on the Champions Tour. But on Friday, armed with a new partner at the birdie-friendly Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, the Walrus was atop a leaderboard again.

Stadler, less than two months shy of 60, and 51-year-old Kirk Triplett teamed up for an 8-under 64 in the two-man team game, good for the early clubhouse lead. Both golfers play their ball and the best score counts on each hole.

Triplett had the hot putter in the group and Stadler called himself "the supporting cast," but that can sometimes be the case in the unique format. The bottom line was eight birdies and no bogeys at The Club at Savannah Harbor.

Triplett wasn't eligible for the event a year ago, while Stadler tied for 25th with Mike Goodes. Stadler hasn't won on the Champions Tour since a five-win 2004 season.

"I'm still competitive, I still think I can play. But I need to be more consistent," Stadler said. "With that comes four years of not competing very well, and not being as confident as I used to be. I have to work that back, I can't just get it overnight by hitting a couple of good shots."

Stadler, plagued by several years of health issues, said he isn't healthy enough to walk courses every day. But flat courses help, and Savannah fits that bill.

 

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