Kyle Stanley broke down and cried after his 5-foot putt won the Quicken Loans National on Sunday. It was a long time coming.
Five years from his last victory and more than 600 spots in the world rankings from his high-water mark of 47th in 2012, he has suddenly refound his game, with four Top 10 finishes so far this year.
“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.”
Stanley didn’t actually have even a share of the lead until he birdied the par-5 10th. He didn’t have the lead all to himself until winning the playoff.
After ho-hum golf for three days, the field came alive Sunday with seven players among the top 15 shooting a 66 or better. Not among them was Sweden’s David Lingmerth who went from back-to-back 65s on Thursday and Friday to back-to-back 73s to end the tournament tied for fifth at 4-under.
Stanley’s day started with a bogey on No. 1 but he never made another one, with birdie on 5, 6, 8, 10, and 14. Howell also had just one bogey, on No. 5. He was 1-under at the turn, then birdied #10 and eagled #14 to reach 4-under on the day.
Rickie Fowler continued to play well, but not well enough, shooting a Sunday 65 to finish at 5-under, tied for third. Fowler only parred five holes on the final day, complimenting them with nine birdies, two bogeys, and a costly double-bogey on No. 14. If he had just parred it, he could have won the tournament by two strokes.