Stanley the hunted becomes the hunter

Seven days ago Kyle Stanley was the victim of a meltdown. This week he was played a role in another although this time he was on the right side of the ledger.

Stanley's triple bogey at the final hole to lose the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last week to Brandt Snedeker was the sort of blow that might have scarred a lesser individual for some time.

It took only seven days for Stanley to exorcise those demons when he recorded a final round of 65 to beat Ben Crane by one and Spencer Levin by two at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the TPC Scottsdale.

Levin, too, had been looking for his first PGA Tour victory and when he took a six shot led into today's final round it appeared as if this might just be the week.

Tournament golf has a funny way of evening things out however and although his lead increased to seven early in his round, Levin's demise began with a bogey at the 4th and slow but surely unravelled from there.

Levin's hopes were still very much alive when he reached the 15th as he had just birdied the 14th to right ship, at least briefly. He would find the water with his second however and take double bogey and his chance was all but gone.

Stanley was unable to pick up any birdies over his closing few holes but he had done enough earlier in his round to position himself for the victory with his round of 65 to complete a ten shot turnaround on Levin.

"Yeah, I'm not sure what I'm thinking right now, said Stanley after his win. "It's been a great week. You go from a very low point to a high point. I'm not sure I expected to maybe recover this quickly. You know, I'll take it.

"You know, I think last week - it's tough because you kind of you get a lead that big and you start trying to protect it instead of continuing to be aggressive and continuing to try to make birdies, and that's what I tried to do today."

Rod Pampling headed the Australians in 15th position with Greg Chalmers and Marc Leishman next best in 19th position.

The PGA Tour now heads back to the West Coast for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am where Tiger Woods will play his first event of the PGA Tour season.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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