Kevin Stadler’s broken club accidentally hits spectator in head, causes stitches


The final event of the Web.com Tour regular season is stressful enough without a bizarre and unlikely incident that went down in the second round.

There were rumblings on social media Friday evening that Kevin Stadler had an unfortunate accident at the WinCo Foods Portland Open involving a golf club and a fan.

Shaun Micheel went into further detail on Facebook. The 2003 PGA Champion didn’t name the player involved – although his referencing a “playing partner” narrowed the options down to Stadler and Jonathan Hodge simply by looking at a tee sheet – but went into descriptive detail on what occurred:

https://www.facebook.com/shaun.micheel/posts/1863323970630712

To recap Micheel’s story: A playing partner slammed his 7-iron against the ground after a poor tee shot, breaking the club near the bottom. That broken clubhead then, terrifyingly, rocketed into the crowd and hit a spectator in the head. It was all an incredibly unfortunate accident that had the player shaken.

That is a terrible misfortune on all sides.

ESPN’s Bob Harig followed up Saturday, confirming that Stadler was indeed the player in question. Harig also quoted a Web.com Tour rules official saying Stadler was “devastated” and “had trouble trying to finish the round.”

Per Harig, the spectator was taken to a local hospital, received six stitches and was released.

Stadler, the son of 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler, remarkably followed that harrowing incident at the 15th with birdies at 16 and 17 but ended up missing the cut by a shot. The 38-year-old had largely been missing from golf in recent years as a nagging hand injury kept him out of competition for years.

He hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event since 2015 and made a return in a Web.com Tour event last year only to withdraw after the first round due to pain.

It’s been a more successful run in 2018, as he had gone T22-T64 in two Web.com Tour starts prior to this week.

Stadler is on a major medical extension, meaning whenever he returns to PGA Tour competition (these Web.com Tour showings were likely rehab starts) he will have 26 starts on that medical. He will need to gather at least 454.42 FedEx Cup points or $717,890 in those events to retain his card.

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