Monday, July 3

Kyle Stanley: 'It's Hard to Win Out Here, So Tough to Do It Again'

IT WAS A LONG WAY BACK for Kyle Stanley after a promising start to his pro career, which included his first PGA Tour victory at Phoenix in 2012. Five years removed from his only tour title was like an eternity for Stanley. Parts of his game and much of his confidence disappeared during that period.

However, the Clemson All-American and Ben Hogan Award winner has been playing well lately. His big moment came on Sunday.

Stanley beat Charles Howell III in a one-hole playoff to win the Quicken Loans National in Maryland. Both Stanley and Howell closed with 66s and were deadlocked at 7 under on tough TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Stanley parred the 18th to claim the trophy.

"My ball-striking's been pretty solid for the most part this entire year," Stanley said. "My putting started to come around but everything's been kind of consistent. I knew that it was just a matter of time."

As USA TODAY reported, Stanley's game had cratered. After breaking into the top 50 in the world golf rankings, he fell to 352 in 2014 and 409 in 2015 before rising to 258 at the end of 2016.

Stanley added: "It's hard to win out here, so tough to do it again. It was a lot of work, but you know, it's been worth it, for sure."

He also sort of apologized for shedding tears, but who could blame him?

Danielle Kang won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, her first major and LPGA Tour title. Kenny Perry won the U.S. Senior Open with a record-breaking performance at Salem Country Club. (That's four senior majors for Perry.) Tommy Fleetwood won the French Open and took the lead in the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

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