Three Former Trojan Golfers Win Tournaments In One Weekend

June 29, 2004

Three former Trojan golfers triumphed this past weekend as Kim Saiki won her first LPGA title at the Wegmans Rochester and Craig Stadler won the Champion Tour's Bank of America Championship, while his son Kevin Stadler won the Nationwide Tour's Lake Erie Charity Classic.

Saiki waited 12 years for her first LPGA Tour win, and it practically left her speechless.

Saiki shot a 1-under 71 Sunday, overtaking Rosie Jones for a four-stroke victory at the Rochester LPGA.

'It was incredible. No words could describe it. Chills!' exclaimed Saiki, a 38-year-old Californian who's been a runner-up four times since joining the tour in 1992.

Saiki finished at 14-under 274 at the tree-lined Locust Hill course. In a thrilling final round, Jones went ahead three times before a decisive swing at the par-4 14th when she three-putted from 18 feet for a double-bogey while Saiki curled in a 5-footer for birdie.

Only three golfers have played longer on the LPGA Tour before getting their first victory. Carolyn Hill's first LPGA win at the 1994 McCall's LPGA Classic at Stratton Mountain, Vt. came after 14 years and 6 months on tour.

Saiki earned $225,000 to leap from 77th to 11th on the money list. Her career earnings rose to $1.6 million.

'I was very calm,' Saiki said. 'I was hitting the ball so solid. My tempo, my rhythm was so good. I had a lot of confidence.

'It's always disappointing when you come in second,' she added, 'but I'm very pleased with my career.'

The elder Stadler shot an 8-under 64 in the final round to capture his title, then hustled into the scorer's trailer to watch son Kevin earn his first win on the Nationwide Tour.

'This is probably the best golfing day I will ever have,' said the proud father, who collected $232,500 for his fifth victory on the senior circuit.

'I don't think another win will ever come close to this. This is incredible. I am so happy for him and so proud for him. ... I never even dreamed of us both winning on the same day.'

The only other time a father and son have won PGA Tour-sponsored events on the same day was when David Duval won The Players Championship on March 28, 1999, and father Bob took the Emerald Coast Classic on the senior circuit.

'I figured if I won, he would probably win,' Kevin said on speakerphone from Findley Lake, N.Y. 'He tries to one-up me all the time.'

The younger Stadler shot a 2-over 74 to finish regulation tied with Michael Long and Bubba Watson at 9-under 279. Stadler and Watson parred the first playoff hole, eliminating Long, who missed his par putt.

Stadler and Watson both parred the next two holes. On the fourth extra hole, after Watson missed a 5-foot par attempt, Stadler tapped in for the win.

Stadler - who qualified for the U.S. Open last week and shot a 68 in the opening round - earned $76,500 for the victory, his first on the minor league tour.

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