ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Craig Stadler withdrew Wednesday from the Farmers Charity Classic after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and pleading guilty to operating a vehicle while impaired.
Stadler, 51, was charged with driving while intoxicated
following the Monday evening arrest in nearby Ionia County, but
pleaded guilty Wednesday to the reduced count, according to
assistant Ionia County prosecutor Lori Kirkhoff.
"I very much regret what happened on Monday evening," Stadler
said in a statement released by the Champions Tour event, which is
played in Kent County's Ada Township. "I take the offense very
seriously. I'm embarrassed and feel awful about it. I can assure
you I will not repeat my mistake."
As part of the sentence, Ionia County District Court Judge
Raymond Voet ordered Stadler to pay $900 in fines and court costs,
participate in an alcohol awareness class and attend a victim
impact panel, Kirkhoff said.
Stadler was arrested while driving from Grand Rapids to a media
appearance in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. In July, Stadler won
the Senior Players Championship at the Michigan TPC in Dearborn;
one week later, he won the PGA Tour's B.C. Open.
Stadler, who spent most of his 40s struggling on the greens, was
scheduled to play six tournaments this year on the regular tour. He
planned to drop down to just two -- the AT&T Pebble Beach National
Pro-Am and the Masters -- starting in 2005.
The Farmers Charity Classic runs through Sunday.