Mickelson-Stanley-Snedeker featured group at Riviera

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February 15, 2012
Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- Phil Mickelson, Kyle Stanley and Brandt Snedeker are the last three winners on the PGA TOUR.

Tee times
Tee times for Mickelson-Stanley-Snedeker are below. Click here for all tee times

What sets them apart from 2012's first three champs, though, is the manner in which they came to hoist those impressive trophies on Sunday afternoon. After all, Mickelson, Stanley and Snedeker all trailed by at least six shots entering the final round.

Just call them the "Comeback Kids."

Will there be another rally staged this week at Riviera Country Club during the final round of the Northern Trust Open? We'll have to wait and see.

At least in the first two rounds, though, fans will get to see Mickelson, Stanley and Snedeker tee it up together at historic Hogan's Alley where A-list stars like Peter Falk, Dean Martin, Gregory Peck and Humphrey Bogart used to play. They tee off No. 1 at 3:12 p.m. ET on Thursday and No. 10 at 10:27 a.m. ET on Friday.

The uber-popular Mickelson is a two-time champion at Riviera, winning in 2008 and '09, as well as losing in a playoff there in 2007. Snedeker, on the other hand, hasn't had the same kind of success, surviving just one cut in four starts, while the big-hitting Stanley, who leads the FedExCup, is making his debut.

Their levels of experience at Riviera may be vastly different. But all of the "Comeback Kids" have arrived at to this toney Los Angeles suburb with momentum after their stirring victories in the last three weeks.

Take Mickelson, for example. He made up six shots this past Sunday to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the fourth time, second only to Mark O'Meara's five victories on the Monterey Peninsula. His bogey-free 64 was the day's low round -- by three shots, no less -- on a day when the field average was 71.71.

Adding to the excitement, Mickelson picked up his 40th PGA TOUR victory while playing with his long-time rival Tiger Woods in the penultimate group that Sunday. Meanwhile, Woods, who was one stroke ahead of Mickelson and five behind Charlie Wi, struggled to a 75.

Stanley, on the other hand, actually figured prominently in the first two come-from-behind victories. He had entered the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open with a five-stroke lead and was still leading three as he came to the 18th tee.

Snedeker, who started the final round at Torrey Pines trailing Stanley by seven shots, fired a 67 to surge into second -- or so he thought. Snedeker was actually in the media center and watched on TV as Stanley's third shot on the par 5 sucked back into the water and he went on to three-putt for the 8 that sent the tournament into a playoff.

Snedeker went on to par the second hole of sudden death and won for the third time in his PGA TOUR career. His other two wins have been come-from-behind victories -- Snedeker made up six shots at The Heritage last year and beat Luke Donald in a playoff and he fired a 63 to rally from five back and win the 2007 Wyndham Championship.

Stanley fought back tears after the collapse -- but a week later at the Waste Management Phoenix Open he earned sweet redemption as he fired a final-round 65 to come from eight strokes back and overtake Spencer Levin. The victory was the first of Stanley's career and vaulted him into the FedExCup lead.

Stanley, who got some counsel from Mickelson early that week in Phoenix, was dogged as he applied pressure on Levin, who unraveled with a 39 on the back nine for a collective 75 that Sunday. He made all 60 of his putts from inside 8 feet, including the winner from 3 feet, 11 inches for a par on the 72nd hole.

Mickelson-Stanley-Snedeker tee times
Round 1
3:12 p.m. ET on No. 1
Round 2
10:27 a.m. ET on No. 10
Direct Connect: Kyle Stanley
John Swantek interviews 2012 WM Phoenix Open winner Kyle Stanley, and asks him a variety of questions supplied by fans. Direct Connect: Kyle Stanley

Interview: Phil Mickelson
Prior to the 2012 Northern Trust Open, Phil Mickelson addressed the media and discussed playing the historic Riviera Country Club. Mickelson interview
More featured groups
Sergio Garcia-Jason Day-Fred Couples
Round 1: 3:01 p.m. ET off No. 1
Round 2: 10:16 a.m. ET off No. 10
The members of this eclectic threesome are all making their 2012 PGA TOUR debuts. Day, who is ranked seventh in the world, finished second in Qatar two weeks ago while Garcia was fifth. Couples, who tied for seventh last year at Riviera, was 11th in the Champions Tour opener.

Luke Donald-Nick Watney-Adam Scott
Round 1: 10:16 a.m. p.m. ET off No. 10
Round 2: 3:01 p.m. ET off No. 1
This pairing features the three winners of last year's World Golf Championships events. Not to mention, Donald is ranked No. 1 in the world while Scott is eighth and Watney is 14th so it's a formidable group.

Dustin Johnson-Aaron Baddeley-Bubba Watson
Round 1: 10:27 a.m. ET off No. 10
Round 2: 3:12 p.m. ET off No. 1
Baddeley, who defends his title at the Northern Trust Open this week, finished solo fourth last week at Pebble Beach. Watson and Johnson, who also added victories to their resumes in 2012, are two of the biggest hitters on the PGA TOUR, ranking third and seventh, respectively in driving distance.

"It's cool," Stanley said. "It'll be fun. I've gotten to know Phil a little bit the past couple weeks, and we'll have a good time."

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