ON TUESDAY KYLE STANLEY WAS BACK at the spot in the 18th fairway on Torrey Pines South Course from which he made a disastrous triple bogey 8 and went on to lose the Farmers Insurance Open to Brandt Snedeker in a sudden-death playoff. Stanley was just 85 yards away from his first PGA Tour victory a year ago, but his sand wedge spun into the water.
Karen Crouse of the New York Times reported:
Returning to the scene of his spectacular collapse during a practice round for this week’s event, Stanley gripped his two iron — taking aim at all the Monday morning caddies who criticized him for using a club that generates so much spin — and hit a line drive that ricocheted off a sponsor’s sign and landed behind the green. The shot was filmed for a commercial for Nike, which added Stanley to its endorsement stable this year.
The act was part commerce, part catharsis. It was a lighthearted way for Stanley to chase away any lurking demons. “At some point you’ve got to smile about it,” Stanley said. “And, yeah, it was fun. It was nice to do that.”
After last year’s final-hole disaster, Stanley went on to win in Phoenix the following week.
“Out here you’re going to have good stretches, you’re going to have bad stretches,” Stanley told Crouse. “You’ve just got to be tough and try as hard as you can to focus on the positives. It’s hard to do.”
On Thursday, Stanley opened with a 75 on the South Course. Snedeker, the opportunistic player who edged him last year, is co-leader with K.J. Choi after a 65.