SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Stanley came to the 18th hole with a one-stroke lead over his playing partner, Ben Crane. He left with likely redemption – depending on how Spencer Levin plays the final two holes.
Stanley, who squandered a five-shot lead in the final round a week ago, hit his drive well left near a hospitality tent about 102 yards from the green. When his second shot landed 18 feet from the pin, Stanley high-fived his caddy emphatically.
Stanley’s birdie putt slid 3 feet, 11 inches past the hole. But he made the putt for par – clenching his fist in quiet celebration.
Crane, meanwhile, found the fairway but his second shot spun off the green. He putted to 2 feet and eventually made par.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Stanley challenged himself at the driveable par-4 17th hole, hitting his tee shot short and well right of the green.
The ball settled under a cactus, but Stanley chipped to 22 feet. When he hit his second shot, Stanley was leading by two strokes at 15 under thanks to Spencer Levin’s double bogey at the par-5 15th..
Ben Crane, who was tied for second with Levin, missed the green to the right by 31 feet, He chipped to 3 feet and made the putt for birdie to move to 14 under and one clear of Levin.
Stanley just missed the birdie putt but tapped in for par that left him one stroke ahead of Crane.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While Spencer Levin was struggling at the par-5 15th, Ben Crane and Kyle Stanley were having their troubles at No. 16.
Both missed the green long and left. Stanley, who was tied with Levin when he teed off on the par 3, chipped on and made a 9-footer for par to remain at 15 under. He is now 62 of 64 on putts inside 10 feet this week.
Crane, though, missed his par putt from 14 feet so he is now 13 under.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Stanley had been looking forward to playing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open for a while now.
Given what happened on Sunday, though, he said teeing it up in Thursday's first round was "almost therapeutic." And the 69 Stanley opened with at TPC Scottsdale wasn't half bad, either.
Stanley had squandered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole of the Farmers Insurance Open and ended up losing to Brandt Snedeker on the second hole of a playoff four days ago. Even though he was extremely disappointed, Stanley said he never thought about taking this week off to regroup.
Stanley started on the back side and played his first seven holes in 4 under -- which for a while on Thursday morning gave him sole possession of the lead. He got up and down the 18th hole but got the stroke back on No. 3 before making bogeys on two of his last three holes.
"Played pretty good on that back nine, made a couple bogeys late but drove the ball really well," Stanley said. "Hit it decent, hit a couple wedges that didn't respond the way I thought they were going to, but other than that, I'm pretty pleased. There's a lot of golf left."
Stanley also was thankful for the support the felt from the fans in the gallery. "I said on Tuesday, I'm kind of overwhelmed by it," Stanley said. "It's really nice to know that you have people behind you, and I certainly appreciate it.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Brandt Snedeker was fielding questions in the interview room of the media center when Kyle Stanley hit his third shot to the 72nd hole at the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday afternoon.
He glanced over at the TV and saw the ball spin back into the water. Suddenly Stanley's three-shot lead was looking a bit more tenuous, but even so, Snedeker didn't anticipate what was about to happen.
When Stanley hit his fifth shot to the back shelf of the green, though, Snedeker decided he'd best head back to the scoring area. He knew that 43-foot putt Stanley faced wasn't easy, not when he had to judge the speed on the slope and block out the water in the background.
And he was right. One three-putt later, Snedeker and Stanley were headed back to the 18th tee for a playoff.
Snedeker earned the win when he got up and down for par from the back of the green on the second extra hole. He made his putt of just over 5 feet and then watched as Stanley's went sliding by the hole.
The victory was the third of Snedeker's PGA TOUR career. He's come from well off the pace in all -- making up five strokes at the 2007 Wyndham Championship and six last year at The Heritage when he beat Luke Donald in a playoff.
Snedeker started Sunday's final round at Torrey Pines trailing Stanley by seven strokes after a disappointing 74 in the third round had seemingly given the Tennessean too much ground to make up. Snedeker closed with a 67 which tied Bud Cauley for the day's low round and he was ready when the opportunity came.
"When I had the second chance, I really had to get myself
refocused and realize that this tournament is anybody's now, now
that I was in the playoff," Snedeker said. "If anybody had an
advantage, I did, because I had done that a couple times before. I
had won in a playoff on TOUR, and I know Kyle probably wasn't in
his best frame of mind at that point after doing what he did on 18.
"So I really refocused. I played great in the playoff. Hit one bad tee shot on 18, and made a good putt on 18 for birdie, hit a great 5-iron on 16. I thought it was going to be right next to it. It ended up going over, but made a great putt there on those greens.
"I'm just floored right now. I had no idea I was going to be in this room right now for a second time. So I'm so excited."
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Should Kyle Stanley go on to win the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday, he'll likely look back to the 14th hole as being pivotal in the victory.
Stanley's lead had dwindled to three shots after he made consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12. He found the right fairway bunker off the tee at the 14th hole and his second shot landed just short of the green.
Stanley's third shot checked up and stopped 13 feet short of the pin. But he managed to coax the ball into the hole to preserve the three-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker.
The understated Stanley quietly celebrated by bumping fists with his caddy, Brett Waldman, an accomplished player in his own right who formerly worked for Camilo Villegas and played the Nationwide Tour last year.