Today’s post is dedicated to Kyle Stanley. Congratulations to him on his first PGA Tour victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open yesterday! In a time of adversity, Kyle dug down deep to find greatness.
Who is Kyle Stanley? Kyle isn’t just a young kid that won a PGA event in Phoenix, he has a record of excellence and will be someone that we will hear more and more about as he continues to shake up the PGA Tour.
Kyle Stanley has always possessed an incredible amount of talent. When Kyle was 17 he went to TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) for the first time and his ball speed 186. His ball speed today is 175. In high school Kyle won 4 AJGA events and won the Southern Amatuer two times. When Kyle was a freshman at Clemson University he established 18 individual scoring records. During his college career, Stanley was the only Clemson golfer in history to finish in the top 10 at 3 different NCAA National Events. He joined DJ Trahan and Jonathan Bird in the Clemson history books as one of three to win 3 consecutive First Team All ACC awards. As a sophomore in 2007, he played on the Walker Cup Team. In 2009, as a senior in college, Kyle won the Ben Hogan Award as the best amateur player. After completing his last year of college golf Kyle turned Professional in 2009.
Last Sunday, 24-year old Kyle Stanley was brought to tears at Torrey Pines after a devastating loss after leading the Farmers Insurance Open by seven shots in the final round. As he stood on the 18th tee box, he had a four shot lead and preceded to make a triple bogey and then lost in the playoff to Brandt Snedeker. Did he crumble under pressure? Not necessarily…
Though he could have and maybe should have gone for the hole in two shots, he laid up which most would say is the right play in this situation. He put a little too much spin on his approach shot which would have panned out differently if it landed a few feet further. Instead the ball trickled into the water. He ended with a three-putt from 45 feet away from the hole. On his playoff hole, he lipped out his putt that would have kept him in the hunt. It wouldn’t be fair to say that he totally blew it or that he wasn’t ready to win. Kyle Stanley was READY TO WIN and he had a few tough breaks at Torrey Pines.
This week, Stanley got his redemption at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, our local PGA tour stop at TPC Scottsdale.
Similar to the change of events last week, the recovery from being 8 strokes behind is an unlikely occurrence. At the 18th tee the mood was much different. This time he was not trying to protect his win; he was determined to capture it. As the group stood ready to address their shots a lunactic fan decided to swim across the lake and into the fairway. He was tackled by 3 officers and dragged away. After a few laughs the tour professionals, had to focus in and finish strong. Kyle sank a 4 foot putt on the 18th hole to capture his first win on the PGA Tour.
Facts About Kyle Stanley
(Resources: The following information I got from pgatour.com and my friend Andrew Black, PGA professional from Mayacama Golf Club and Clemson PGM Graduate)
At the beginning of the year Kyle Stanley’s world golf ranking was 148th
Today’s World Golf Ranking is 52nd
FedExCup Ranking: 1st with 846 FedEx Cup Points
Kyle earned an exemption to play his favorite course Augusta National in the Masters this April. His first opportunity to play in this major event.
Kyle is also exempt to play in the Accenture Match Play Championship Feb. 22-26th at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona.
Scoring Average 68.47
Turned Professional in 2009
Born in Gig Harbor, Washington and still lives there
College: Clemson University
Earnings from the Waste Management Phoenix Open: $1,098,000
Career Earnings: 3,492,361
Career Victories: 1
Height: 5 ft 11 inches Weight: 165 Lbs.
Kyle Stanley’s Golf Instructors: Mike Taylor and Dr. Milt Lowderas
Kyle has one sister and thanked his Mom and Dad during his victory speech at TPC Scottsdale.
Other Fun Facts about Kyle Stanley
Favorite Pro Team: Seattle Seahawks
He is superstitious about wearing the color blue
Favorite TV show is ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Favorite Athletes to watch: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James
Dream Foursome: His Dad, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus
On His Bucket List: To win all four major championships
Has made 4 hole in ones.
Check out What’s In Kyle Stanley’s Golf Bag
Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix