Stan­ley wins in play­off at Quicken Loans Na­tional

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - BEN NUCKOLS

PO­TOMAC, MD. — Kyle Stan­ley was in tears on the 18th green af­ter he holed a five-foot par putt to win the Quicken Loans Na­tional in a play­off over Charles How­ell III. He wept again in the in­ter­view room as he spoke about the long slump be­tween his first and sec­ond ca­reer vic­to­ries and the doubts that his game would ever re­turn.

He be­lieved he could win again. But he never re­ally had to think about it un­til mid­way through his round on a wild Sun­day at TPC Po­tomac.

“There was some doubt there for a lit­tle bit. Yeah, I mean, it’s no fun,” Stan­ley said, wip­ing away tears. “You cer­tainly ques­tion if you’ll get back ... and have a mo­ment like this. It makes this pretty spe­cial, for sure.”

On a day when about a dozen play­ers had re­al­is­tic chances to win, Stan­ley moved into a share of the lead for the first time with a birdie on the par-5 10th as the lead­ers fal­tered be­hind him. He never had the lead alone un­til the tro­phy was his.

Stan­ley and How­ell be­gan the day four shots off the lead, play­ing to­gether in the fourth-to-last group. Stan­ley got into the mix with birdies on the fifth, sixth and eight holes, none of the putts longer than 10 feet.

How­ell nudged ahead mo­men­tar­ily with a 27-footer for ea­gle on the short par-4 14th, only for Stan­ley to match him with a two-putt birdie. Both parred the fi­nal four holes to shoot 4-un­der 66s and fin­ish at 7 un­der, and no one could catch them. How­ell had a 21-foot putt to win on the fi­nal hole of reg­u­la­tion that rolled over the left edge of the cup.

Play­ing the par-4 18th again in the play­off, both missed their tee shots, with Stan­ley get­ting lucky to draw a good lie. Both missed the green. How­ell’s chip came up short and he missed the 11-foot par putt. Stan­ley chipped to five feet and pumped his fist as the putt dropped. Stan­ley’s pre­vi­ous win came in 2012 at the Phoenix Open.

ALEX BRAN­DON, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Kyle Stan­ley re­acts af­ter his shot on the 17th tee.

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