Monday, February 6, 2012

Kyle Stanley bounces back from the lowest point of his career to win in Phoenix

Now that's how you get redemption. Just seven days removed from an on-course meltdown that, truthfully, was one of the worst I've seen in a long time, Kyle Stanley found his way back to the winner's circle in Phoenix, and put the Farmer Insurance loss behind him.

There will probably be times in the 24-year-old's career when he looks back on that wedge shot on the 72nd hole at the Farmers Insurance Open and shakes his head; but at least the tournament won't have the same negative connotation it had prior to this week. That's because Stanley produced a H.A.M. worthy performance on Sunday at the Waste Management Open, coming from seven back to grab his first PGA Tour win with a bogey-free six-under 65.

It's a shame most people had their eyes on the Super Bowl pre-game show on Sunday, because a lot of people missed the feel-good story of the season. Unless we see a McIlroy-esque turnaround later in the season, it'll be damn near impossible to beat Stanley's turnaround, losing in horrific fashion one week, and then turning around the next and coming from seven back -- the same lead he blew in San Diego -- to win the very next week.

We talk all the time about the importance of being mentally strong in this sport: Folks, this was the epitome of why it's so important to let go of the bad memories and concentrate on the task at-hand. It would've been easy for Stanley to stew and let the approach shot at the Farmer Insurance consume him -- especially with the media asking him about it through the early part of last week.

But he instead chose to let it go and move on ... and he was repaid for doing just that. Forget about the win for a second; the thing that impressed me the most was how he managed to go from the lowest point of his career to the highest in seven days. That's almost impossible to do, and it speaks volumes about Stanley's game and future on tour. The kid really is THAT special.

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