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February 5 2012

11:05 PM

Stanley wins WM Phoenix Open

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Seven days ago, Kyle Stanley was fighting back tears after making a triple bogey on 72nd hole at Torrey Pines and losing the Farmers Insurance Open in a playoff with Brandt Snedeker.

0975_SBp On Sunday, though, Stanley was hoisting the trophy at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after shooting 65 and coming from eight strokes behind to win by one.

Stanley's victory became official when Spencer Levin was unable to hole his second shot from a fairway bunker at the 18th hole for the improbable eagle. Levin had started the final round leading by six strokes.

"That's golf," Stanley told CBS announcer Peter Kostis. "You need to accept the ups and downs. You can't get too high or too low. I am thankful for the support I've received from so many people."

The victory propelled Stanley to the top of the FedExCup standings as well as the PGA TOUR money list.

After the win was assured, Stanley, the emotions once again close to the surface, told Kostis he wanted to thank his parents. “They've done a lot for me,” he said. “I'm speechless.”

Stanley is the first player since David Toms at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial to lose in a playoff and come back and win the following week. K.J. Choi had beaten Toms at THE PLAYERS Championship seven days earlier.

Ben Crane finished second after closing with a 66 to finish at 14 under. Levin, who shot 75, was alone in third while D.J. Trahan was fourth at 12 under.

Levin’s six-stroke lead ties for the largest lost in the final round in PGA TOUR history.

The other players who have lost a lead that large are Bobby Cruickshank (1928 Florida Open), Gay Brewer (1969 Danny Thomas-Diplomat Classic), Hal Sutton (1983 Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic), Greg Norman (1996 Masters) and Sergio Garcia (2005 Wachovia Championship).

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