Stanley wins in Phoenix as Levin collapses

By Associated PressFebruary 6, 2012, 1:27 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Kyle Stanley knew exactly how Spencer Levin felt.

Taking advantage of Levin’s final-round meltdown, Stanley rebounded from a devastating loss to win the Phoenix Open on Sunday, overcoming an eight-stroke deficit in a comeback as unlikely as his collapse last week at Torrey Pines.

“I really feel for him, experiencing that,” Stanley said about Levin, echoing what Brandt Snedeker said about Stanley last week.

“You don’t want to wish that upon anybody. He’s a very good player. Way too good of a player to not bounce back or recover.”

Stanley closed with a bogey-free 6-under 65, holing a four-foot par putt on the par-4 18th to finish at 15-under 269. He earned $1,098,000 for his first PGA Tour title.

“You go from a very low point to a high point,” Stanley said. “I’m not sure I expected to maybe recover this quickly. … I think the biggest challenge was seeing if I could put last week behind me. I think I did.”

Ben Crane had a 66 to finish a stroke back.

Levin, six strokes ahead entering the round and seven in front after one hole, shot a 75 to finish two strokes behind Stanley.

“It just wasn’t my day, obviously,” Levin 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, then I think it’s on the player with the lead, for sure.”

In tears seven days ago in San Diego after blowing the big lead – dropping the final strokes with a triple-bogey 8 on the final hole – and losing to Snedeker in a playoff, Stanley cried again Sunday – this time tears of joy.

“I just want to thank my mom and dad. They’ve done a lot for me. I’m speechless,” Stanley said in the scoring area moments after the victory.

At Torrey Pines, Stanley led by seven shots early in the final round and still had a four-shot lead as he stood on the tee at the par-5 18th.

But his third shot had too much spin and didn’t get high enough on the green, spinning down the slope and into the water. He three-putted from 45 feet for the triple bogey, then lost to Snedeker on the second playoff hole when his five-foot par putt caught the right edge of the cup.

“I’m never going to forget that,” Stanley said. “But I think it makes this one a lot sweeter, just being able to bounce back. I’m kind of at a loss for words. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve gotten. It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable turnaround.”

The 24-year-old Stanley, one of the tour’s longest hitters at only 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, birdied the par-5 13th and par-4 14th to take a one-stroke lead at 15 under. On No. 13, the bearded former Clemson star powered a 376-yard drive just through the desert area to set up the tying two-putt birdie.

“Got a really good break there, not quite sure how that ball ended up where it did,” Stanley said. “We only hit 9-iron in there.”

On 14, he hit a 325-yard drive down the middle and holed a 12-footer to take lead.

“Kind of a chip wedge in there,” he said.

Levin, winless on the PGA Tour, birdied the 14th to regain a share of the lead but dropped back with a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 15th.

“I just didn’t have it,” Levin said. “Maybe I was looking ahead too much and trying too hard. What are you going to do? I tried my best.”

On 15, Levin’s drive bounced off the cart path on the right and ended up against a cactus in the desert area. He took an awkward stance near the cactus and got the ball back into the second cut just off the fairway with a hockey-style shot with his driver. After his caddie removed pieces of the cactus from Levin’s shirt and pants, the fiery chain-smoker hit his third shot in the water short and right of the green.

“I pushed it a little bit, but I guess I didn’t hit enough club,” Levin said. “I thought 4-iron would go over the green, and 5-iron didn’t carry.”Stanley, playing two groups ahead of Levin, parred the final three holes, playing a great recovery shot from under cactus to the right of the short par-4 17th.

He birdied Nos. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 11 to get to 13 under and within three strokes of the faltering Levin.

Levin birdied No. 4 to reach 18 under but bogeyed Nos. 4 and 6 and dropped two more strokes on Nos. 11 and 12 to let Stanley into the mix.

Stanley, though, wasn’t fully aware of where he stood.

“I didn’t pay much attention to the leaderboards until maybe four or five holes left,” Stanley said. “Once I made a couple birdies there on the back nine, I figured I was maybe getting close. But I didn’t really think about it too much today. I made the mistake of thinking about it probably all of the final round last week. So, this week, I just kind of tried to just let it happen.”

D.J. Trahan had a 66 to finish fourth at 12 under, and Brendan Steele (64) was another stroke back along with Kevin Na (65) and Bubba Watson (70).

DIVOTS: The crowd was announced at 58,447, bringing the seven-day total to 518,262. A tournament-record 173,210 watched play Saturday. The tournament record for a week of 538,356 was set in 2008. … Phil Mickelson shot a 73 to tie for 26th at 6 under. “I just couldn’t quite get it going,” the former Arizona State star said. … Mark Wilson, the 2011 winner, closed with a 64 to tie for 19th at 7 under.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.