Monday, February 6, 2012

The Limerick Summary: 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Winner: Kyle Stanley

Around the wider world of golf: Christel Boeljon came from behind to win the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters on the ALPG/LET; Kieran Pratt got his first Asian Tour win at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open; and Paul Lawrie won the Commercialbank Qatar Masters on the ET (John Daly snagged a solo 4th).

This one didn't get away from Kyle Stanley

The Patriots were favored in the Super Bowl and I thought they just might squeak it out. They even led going into the 4th quarter. It wasn't enough. (BTW, congrats to Eli Manning. He'll never have to answer that "are you an elite QB" question ever again.)

Spencer Levin was in the same boat, it seems. He had led after 2 rounds before but couldn't hold on. This time he not only led after 2 rounds, he led after 3... but it still wasn't enough. Things fell apart for him during the 4th round.

The story sounded vaguely familiar... oh yeah, it happened last week to Kyle Stanley. That 4th round collapse could have destroyed him but friends, fans, and family all rallied to give him support. Everybody expected him to have a decent tournament this week.

That was an understatement. Last week's final round 74 turned into this week's 65, an 8-stroke difference.

Water was his downfall last week... but not this week. In fact, mistakes must have been the furthest thing from his mind as he blistered the course Sunday. PGATOUR.com's wrap-up quoted him:
"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."
And happen it did. Just like Rory McIlroy after last year's Masters and David Toms after last year's TPC, Stanley roared back immediately from his collapse at the Farmers to grab his first PGA Tour win. The tournament announcers are probably right -- given what we've seen lately, Spencer Levin should be the early favorite for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am next week. He has a pretty good record there anyway, and now...!

So this week's Limerick Summary salutes the Tour's newest phoenix to rise from his own ashes to victory in his next PGA event. Smoking the field is apparently very good for your health!
Take two: Stanley rose from the ashes—
No flameouts this weekend, no splashes.
Last week, he got drowned;
This week, he gets crowned
And someone else learns from collapses.
The photo is from the front page at PGATOUR.com.

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