Moving into the final round, several people were in contention. In my article Updates from the Waste Management Open: A Fan's Take, I discussed several possible scenarios. The leader was Spencer Levin. Other people jostling for position included Webb Simpson, who had a fantastic season last year,Bubba Watson, the long bomber, Kyle Stanley, who lost in devastating fashion last week, and arguably crowd favorite Phil Mickelson. Also in the mix was a relatively unknown face to the sport named John Huh, who, at 21 years of age, does not even have an agent.
Levin started out strong. He made two opening pars and a birdie on hole three. Then, things took a turn for the worse. He bogeyed four and six. He also proceeded to bogey holes ten and eleven as well. A birdie at fourteen was erased by a double bogey at fifteen which sealed his fate. His finishing cumulative score was -13, good enough for third place.
The story of the day revolved around Kyle Stanley and Ben Crane. Stanley played spectacular golf. Although some of his drives were errant, he eradicated these mistakes with incredible chips shots. His ball control with short irons is truly unparalleled. Somewhat ironically, it was this spinning of the ball close to the greens that saved Stanley and cost him last week's tournament. Crane was nipping at Stanley's heels the whole day. Birdies at hole two and four, and an eagle at three sent him straight up the leader board. However, Crane fell short after making bogey at sixteen, leading to Stanley's first tour victory.
I could not be happier for Kyle Stanley. He took last week's loss like a champion and proved that he has patience and resolve. It was impressive to see such a young competitor dust off his shoulders and climb back on the proverbial horse after such a brutal loss. His tenacity paid dividends and Stanley is showing why he is one of the best new comers to the sport. I expect great things from the player in the future. If Keegan Bradley or Webb Simpson can have such a fantastic season like they did in 2011, why not Stanley? Kyle is making his way up the Fedex Cup point ladder and should be a factor for a long time to come.
I am an avid golf fan. I enjoy playing recreational on local courses and watching the PGA Tour. I also like keeping up to date with all the new faces to the game.
- Kyle Stanley