Stanley rallies from 8 back to win in Phoenix|
Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) - A week ago, Kyle Stanley blew an eight-
stroke lead in the final round to cost himself his first PGA Tour victory.
This week, Stanley made the big rally.
He fired a six-under 65 Sunday to come from eight shots back to win the
Phoenix Open by one stroke over Ben Crane.
Stanley finished his first tour win at 15-under-par 269.
"That's golf. You need to accept the fact that there's going to be ups and
downs. You just can't get too high or too low, but I'm just thankful I had so
much support from so many people," Stanley said in a televised interview.
"That really helped me put [last week] behind me and move on. It's been
Crane, who played alongside Stanley, closed with a five-under 66 at the TPC
Scottsdale to take second at minus-14.
Spencer Levin started the round with a six-stroke lead, and it was seven after
the first hole. He had a solid par save on the 10th, but dropped four strokes
in the next five holes to fall out of the lead.
Levin stumbled to a four-over 75 to end alone in third at 13-under-par 271.
Not only was Stanley eight clear to start the final round last week, but he
was still three ahead on the 18th fairway. He then spun his third shot back
into the water and that led to a closing triple-bogey. That was followed by a
playoff loss to Brandt Snedeker.
Levin parred the first and was seven clear as Webb Simpson tripped to a bogey
on the first to slip into a tie for second. However, Levin stumbled to bogeys
on four and six as his lead dipped to three over Crane, who went four-under
par in a three-hole span from the second.
Meanwhile, Stanley was quietly making a move. He poured in birdies on two and
three. After four pars in a row, Stanley rolled in a birdie on the eighth.
Stanley got within three of Levin with a birdie at the par-four 11th.
Levin parred four in a row from the seventh, including a key par-saving putt
from 12 feet out on No. 10. But trouble loomed for the leader.
At the par-four 11th, Levin dumped his second shot into a greenside bunker and
failed to save par from there. He again found sand off the tee at the par-
Levin blasted to 10 feet, but his par putt slid by the left edge. His lead was
down to one.
Stanley, who was two groups in front of Levin, two-putted for birdie on the
par-five 13th to join Levin in the lead at 14-under. Stanley came right back
with a 12-foot birdie putt at 14 to grab the outright lead by himself.
Levin responded with a 14-foot birdie effort of his own on the 14th to forge a
tie at minus-15, but the 15th would be Levin's undoing.
The 27-year-old Levin drove under a bush, then putted his ball back to the
first cut of rough. His five-iron third shot came up well short in the water.
He chipped on with his fifth, but two-putted for double-bogey to slide two
Stanley two-putted for par on 15, then saved par from eight feet out on 16. He
hit a remarkable chip shot from under a cactus and onto the green at 17.
Stanley two-putted from 22 feet.
At the 18th, Stanley hit his drive left and got a drop from the grandstands.
He knocked his second to 17 feet and two-putted for a closing par.
"I had a couple of squirrelly tee shots, but my recovery shots were fantastic.
I made a really good par save there on 15, 16 as well. It was nice to make
that four-footer at the last," said Stanley on TV.
Crane had a chance to join Stanley at 15-under, but failed to hole his birdie
chip at the last. Then, Stanley had to wait to see if Levin could catch him.
Levin missed the 16th green left and got up and down for par. After he failed
to convert a 27-footer for birdie on 17, Levin needed to hole out for eagle at
the last to force a playoff.
Levin's approach on 18 landed close to the hole, but rolled out to 40 feet. He
two-putted for par to end alone in third and give Stanley his first tour win.
D.J. Trahan closed with a 66 to take fourth place at 12-under-par 272. Kevin
Na (65), Bubba Watson (70) and Brendan Steele (64) shared fifth at minus-11.
NOTES: Stanley earned $1.098 million for the win...Levin is one of six players
to have lost a final-round lead of at last six strokes...Last year's winner
Mark Wilson matched Steele for the low round of the day with his 64, and that
helped Wilson jump 41 spots into a share of 19th at minus-seven...D.A. Points
will defend his title at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am next week against a
field that includes Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
02/05 19:17:54 ET