His win at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open was the ultimate story of redemption for Kyle Stanley.
With the 2012 PGA TOUR season now complete, the crew at PGATOUR.COM will debate some of the year’s big questions. Friday’s question: Which was the best come-from-behind win?
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• Kyle Stanley produced the ultimate redemption story of 2012. Making up eight shots during an inspired final round performance in Scottsdale one week after coughing up a seven-shot lead in San Diego was the comeback in the year of comebacks. — John Swantek, host, On the Tee
• Brandt Snedeker beating Stanley in San Diego. How unlikely was Snedeker’s comeback? Gary McCord had left his broadcast position and had to make a u-turn on the highway to head back to Torrey Pines. — Fred Albers, PGA TOUR Insider
• Stanley at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. No one would have been surprised if the emotional scars of the previous week took months or even a year to heal. He put them to rest in seven days. — John Schwarb, Producer
• Stanley’s redemptive win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He bravely fought back tears the previous week after a closing triple bogey handed the victory to an astonished Snedeker. To get through that bitter disappointment and deliver when given a second chance just seven days later was nothing short of remarkable. — Helen Ross, Chief of Correspondents
• Nothing was more impressive than Europe’s historic come-from-behind victory over the U.S. in the Ryder Cup. They matched the largest final-day comeback in history, erasing a four-point deficit, and they did it on the opponents’ soil. That’s some major swag. — Brian Wacker, Producer
• There were lots of individual come-from-behind wins this year, but it’s difficult to overlook what the Europeans did on the final day of the Ryder Cup in overtaking the Americans. — Mike McAllister, Managing Editor
• No question it was Tommy Gainey, who put on a putting clinic in the final round of The McGladrey Classic. Gainey needed just 24 putts to card a 10-under 60 at Sea Island Golf Club — just missing a putt for a 59 on the 72nd hole — en route to making up a seven-shot deficit for his first PGA TOUR victory. — Bill Cooney, Producer
• Ernie Els at the British Open. There were questions as to whether or not Els would win again on TOUR and the Hall-of-Famer came through on a major stage. After starting the day six back and giving away two shots on the front nine, Els carded a bogey-free 4-under 32 on the back nine and waited for Adam Scott to fall apart. — Chris Dunham, Producer
• It takes a career (or longer) for some players to bounce back from the kind of meltdown that Stanley endured at Torrey Pines, going from seven shots up to post-round tears in less than four hours. For him to bounce back at all, let alone the next week, was nothing short of astounding. — D.J. Piehowski, Social Media Coordinator
• Stanley’s comeback in Phoenix was the best of the year. Trailing by eight to start the day, he put up a bogey-free 65 that showed everyone he had put behind him the disappointing playoff loss at Torrey Pines. The bonus for me, a native Pacific Northwesterner, was getting to watch Stanley (a Washington kid) chase down Oregonian Ben Crane. Hopefully we see more of those PNW-dominated leaderboard battles in 2013. — Lauren Teague, Social Media Manager
• So many choices, but it has to be Stanley. It was the comeback within the comeback. After a heartbreaking loss at the Farmers Insurance Open the week before, he overcame an eight-shot deficit, thanks to a little help from Spencer Levin, to win by one. — Rob Bolton, Fantasy Expert
• As far as sheer numbers, it’s tough to beat Snedeker or Gainey. But the one I remember the most was Rickie Fowler taking down Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points in a playoff at Quail Hollow. McIlroy was, and is, the undisputed best player in the world, and for Fowler to stick an approach to 2 feet to beat him for his first TOUR win was pretty special. — Ryan Smithson, Producer
• Stanley’s victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was the most impressive to me because of his ability to forget about his meltdown the week before. To step into the winner’s circle for the first time is a challenge but to do it after a devastating loss and trailing by eight shots is pretty incredible. — Amanda Balionis, host, PGA TOUR Today
COMING SATURDAY: Who is your PGA TOUR Player of Year? Join the discussion in the TOUR Report