Bouncing back after last week's final hole meltdown, Kyle Stanley of the USA overcame an eight-stroke deficit to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open by a single shot from countryman Ben Crane.
Last week at Torrey Pines, Stanley blew a three shot lead with a triple-bogey on the 72nd hole, then went on to lose a playoff to Brandt Snedeker. This time it was Staneley who took advantage of another player's collapse.
Spencer Levin carried a six-shot lead into the final round and was seven shots clear after one hole. But he faltered with bogeys at the 4th, 6th, 11th and 12th holes to open the door to the chasing pack. It was Stanley who walked through that door. Firing a superb last round of 65, Stanley beat Levin by 10 shots on the day and it was enough for a remarkable two-stroke victory.
"You go from a very low point to a high point," he said. "I'm not sure I expected to recover this quickly. I think the biggest challenge was seeing if I could put last week behind me. I think I did."
Levin eventually ended the week in third place as Ben Crane passed him to secure second. Levin was clearly disappointed by his collapse.
"It just wasn't my day, obviously," he said. "But I gave it away, simple as that. You have a six-shot lead and lose, you gave it away. My hat's off to Kyle. He played a great round. He went and got it. But if you've got a six-shot lead and don't win..."
With the win, Stanley has moved ahead of Johnson Wagner at the top of the FedEx Cup points list. He has moved to 52nd on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Waste Management Phoenix Open TPC Scottsdale, Arizona Feb 2-5, purse $6,100,000, par 71
1 Kyle Stanley (USA) 69 66 69 65 269 $1,098,000 2 Ben Crane (USA) 69 67 68 66 270 $658,800 3 Spencer Levin (USA) 65 63 68 75 271 $414,800 4 D.J. Trahan (USA) 72 70 64 66 272 $292,800 T5 Kevin Na (USA) 66 73 69 65 273 $222,650 T5 Brendan Steele (USA) 71 69 69 64 273 $222,650 T5 Bubba Watson (USA) 66 70 67 70 273 $222,650 T8 Jason Dufner (USA) 64 72 68 70 274 $170,800 T8 John Rollins (USA) 70 70 65 69 274 $170,800 T8 Webb Simpson (USA) 65 69 68 72 274 $170,800 T8 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 65 71 71 67 274 $170,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
Where next? European Tour: Paul Lawrie wins Qatar Masters
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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