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Clash of the Generations

The 2004 PGA Tour will continue to be a battleground between the Young Guns and the pop guns
Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
Tyson vs. King, Jan/Feb 04

(continued from page 4)

It was his first PGA Tour victory since the 1996 Nissan Open and it surprised him almost as much as it did the Young Guns he was playing against. "I can still hit it out there pretty much with everybody," says Stadler. "My problem has always been getting the ball in the hole. I just don't make enough putts. That week I hit them and the hole kept jumping in the way. The last round it jumped in the way a whole lot."

Putting is one of the first things to deteriorate as a player gets older. In Stadler's case, it started to deteriorate when he was at the peak of his game, right after he won the 1982 Masters and three other tournaments that year. Then he went eight years with only one victory. In the '90s he won four times, but late in the decade he was showing up less and less on the leaderboard.

With his Champions Tour eligibility looming, Stadler worked harder on his short game. With typically droll humor, Stadler placed the key to his success elsewhere. "Turn 50 and get a good bottle of wine and you'll play better," he says.

Adam Scott: Young Gun

 

Everywhere Adam Scott goes in the game of golf, Greg Norman is staring him in the face. From pictures on the walls of locker rooms to names inscribed on trophies, Scott takes inspiration from Norman's career and advice from the Great White Shark himself.

This 23-year-old Australian is taking a career path that parallels Norman's rise to prominence. He's playing both the European Tour and the PGA Tours. On the European Tour he is hardening himself to difficult and often drastically changing playing conditions. On the PGA Tour he is honing his competitive edge against the best players in the world. The strategy is paying off. After winning three times in Europe over two seasons, Scott won the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston last year, with one Tiger Woods in the field.

"It seems that everywhere we go in Europe, Greg's name is on the champions list," says Scott. "There's Greg's name on this one and there's Greg's name on that one. I thought I'd kind of like to really set that same presence over there that Greg did and have a lot of wins. Greg means the world to me. I have modeled my golf game after him since I was seven, eight years old."


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