Craig Stadler on Masters memories, and one thing he still hasn’t done at Augusta National

Craig Stadler surrendered a six-stroke lead on Sunday at the 1982 Masters but still won in a playoff.

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It’s been 40 years since the Walrus outdueled Dan Pohl in a playoff for his lone major. The fan fave, though in hibernation, still loves the Masters.

GOLF: We haven’t seen Craig Stadler in a while. How much golf are you playing?

Craig Stadler: I haven’t played professionally in 2 1/2 years. My back is all messed up, but I don’t look back.

It’s been four decades since you won the Masters. You had five top-seven finishes in your first 10 starts at the Masters. Was it a case of “horses for courses” for you at Augusta National?

You have to learn the course every day. It’s always special. I got a chance [to win], and I took advantage of it. I almost won back-to-back. [T-6 in 1983.] I love the place.

You haven’t competed in the tournament in nearly two decades, but you usually play in the Par-3 Contest. And you never miss a Champions Dinner, right?

I never miss it. Ever. I have a lot of friends there. I’ve met members, Bill Gates and Peyton Manning. It’s really my favorite place, anywhere.

Anything left for you there?

I’ve played hundreds of rounds there and never once made a hole in one on the big course. It’s not something I worry about, but about eight years ago I was playing there on 16 and hit it behind the pin. The ball started rolling back — and stopped right on the lip. I couldn’t believe it didn’t go in.

In your last Masters as a competitor, your son Kevin also qualified to play — a Stadler father-son duo at ANGC. Is there anything about Kevin’s game that you’d like to have?

I don’t know. My game was pretty good for a long time. I’m lucky.

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Art Stricklin