Stadler makes first TOUR-sanctioned cut since 2014
June 11, 2018
By Katie Garwood, PGATOUR.COM
- June 11, 2018
- Kevin Stadler won the PGA TOUR's 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, but was derailed by a hand injury the next year. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
After nearly four years without completing a professional tournament, Kevin Stadler returned to competition last week at the Rust-Oleum Championship, finishing T22.
Stadler dealt with a nagging hand injury, a stress fracture in his palm, since the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season, the same season he claimed his first TOUR victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Stadler said he couldn't get the problem diagnosed properly and tried just about everything to fix it, but still couldn't play without pain.
"It's a long, stupid story, but in the long run I ended up getting cut last August," Stadler said. "Still wasn't sure that was going to fix anything, but it took six, eight months. I was kind of able to swing January, February of this year. It really rapidly got better the last few months, pretty much been pain-free for the last couple months."
He attempted a comeback last July in the KC Golf Classic, but withdrew after the first round with pain in his hand.
"It basically feels like an explosion at impact the last couple months," Stadler said last July after shooting a 1-over 72 at Nicklaus GC at LionsGate. "I thought I'd give it a try, but it was pretty ugly today."
In Stadler's return at the Rust-Oleum Championship, he carded rounds of 71-69-71-68 to finish at 9-under for the tournament. His final round included five birdies and an eagle on his closing hole, along with three bogeys.
Overall, Stadler said he was pleased with his performance for the week at Ivanhoe Club.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "It’s been a long time since I've done this and certainly it was better play than I was expecting. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, I just wanted to kind of see, kind of go through the motions, see what happens, see what it's like to be back in competition."
This time last year, Stadler said he "pretty much thought (he) would be done."
After his showing this week, Stadler said things are looking up.
"Thankfully I'm able to do it now," he said. "I had zero pain this week, so it's looking great going forward."