SAN DIEGO - Through 71 holes at last year's Farmers Insurance Open, Kyle Stanley appeared in position to cruise to his first career PGA Tour win.
After a disastrous triple bogey on the final hole dropped him into a playoff that he subsequently lost to Brandt Snedeker, though, he was left to wonder what might have been. Returning to the scene of his dramatic runner-up finish a year later, Stanley indicates that he was ultimately able to build upon the experience.
"I think it was really good for me," he said following Wednesday's pro-am round. "It made me tough, and I played some great golf. If anything, it was an eye-opener for me that if I get things going, I can win."
Of course, the collapse at Torrey Pines was only the first chapter of a remarkable two-part story. Despite the pain from the playoff loss, Stanley went on to get his maiden victory the very next week, rallying to claim the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
"To bounce back like that mentally, I was really happy about that," he commented. "But you know, I was playing good golf. I just kept telling myself that, and fortunately it continued."
The man that benefited directly from Stanley's miscues here last year, Snedeker, agreed that the 25-year-old was likely able to learn from an otherwise difficult situation.
"I think it definitely did help him," Snedeker said. "Anybody that's had that happen to them before, we've all had leads and lost it, and you learn from it and get better from it. And he, obviously, did because he went on to win the next week."
Hoping for a chance at redemption this week, Stanley insists that he'll still have plenty of positive swing thoughts from which to draw the next time he steps to the 18th tee on the South Course.
"I've birdied it a lot more times than I have made an 8," he added. "So, that probably won't happen again."
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