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July 2, 2017 – Kyle Stanley – Quicken Loans National

By: Global Golf Post

More than five years after Kyle Stanley won his first PGA Tour title in dramatic comeback fashion at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the 29-year-old pulled the comeback trick once again, this time shooting a 4-under 66 in the final round to skate up a jam-packed leaderboard and force a playoff with Charles Howell III, who also shot 66 Sunday.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 4.13.06 PMStanley has been in fine form this year, starting with a tie for eighth in Houston and building with a tie for fourth at the Players Championship, where he had a chance to win until a Sunday 75. He went on to tie for sixth at the Memorial Tournament, another sign that his time was soon to arrive.

When the final putt dropped Sunday, he struggled to hold back tears.

“I’ve had so much help from my coaches, my family, my wife,” Stanley said. “It’s hard to put into words right now.”

Many had high expectations of the former Clemson Tiger when he first earned his PGA Tour card and recorded 22 top-25s in his first season. However, Stanley fell into a dark hole in the following three seasons, never sniffing contention or the top 100 in the FedEx Cup points standings.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 4.22.26 PMHe started the year 258th in the world. With the victory in Maryland, he was projected to move to 58th.

Perhaps the most critical moment of the tournament came on the par-3 17th, as Stanley narrowly missed the water with his tee shot and then performed a Houdini act to save par. He made a similarly impressive up-and-down in the playoff, calmly hitting a deft shot from a difficult lie in the rough to 5 feet while Howell played a poor chip and failed to convert his par putt.

Howell has now made 293 PGA Tour starts since his last victory, the 2007 Nissan Open. His consolation prize is a trip to the Open Championship in two weeks at Royal Birkdale. Along with Stanley and Howell, the two other Open qualifiers from the Quicken Loans National were Martin Laird and Sung Kang.

Driver: TaylorMade M1 2017 (Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution X), 10.5 degrees

SM6_5208_FGrind_0113163-wood: TaylorMade M2 2017, 15 degrees

5-wood: Nike VRS Covert 2.0, 19 degrees

Irons: (4) TaylorMade PSi; (5-PW) Nike Vapor Pro Combo

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (52, 54 degrees); TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF (58 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Republished with permission by: Global Golf Post