There is a saying, "I wouldn't even wish that on my worst enemy" that people use quite often. Normally it's about personal stuff like losing your job, having family issues or if you know Billy Cundiff. But more times than you'd think, it is the perfect saying for the game of golf. Q-school comes to mind. So does Scott Hoch. And after Sunday, Kyle Stanley might make that list.
Leading by five shots heading into Sunday, and up to seven at one point during the final round, Stanley stumbled a little over his final nine holes but looked like as long as he had an active pulse on the final hole, a birdie-friendly par-5 at Torrey Pines, he'd walk away with his first PGA Tour title. Stanley had a three-shot lead and had played the final hole 1-under the two other times he'd played it that week, but in golf, there is a little thing called your mind that means way more than stack and tilt, your lie or what iron you have into the green.
Stanley had 240 yards into the 18th after a solid tee ball, but decided to lay up, a decision that 99.9 percent of the time seems like the incredibly correct play. The .01 percent of the time it doesn't? When you spin your third shot back into the pond, hit your next ball on the green and three-putt, leading to a triple-bogey 8, as Stanley did, putting him in a playoff with Brandt Snedeker, the eventual champion.
Golf is a silly, silly sport. Ask Jean Van de Velde, Robert Garrigus, and now, Stanley, who most predicted would have a solid 2012; and it seemed through 71 holes, he was living up to those early year assumptions.
Hopefully he can bounce back from this, but for now, it is perfectly OK to feel bad for a young, talented American kid worth millions of bucks. None of those bills will wash away the only snowman you'll see in San Diego this year.
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