Kyle Stanley suffered one of the biggest 18th hole meltdowns in golf history at the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday to allow Brandt Snedeker back into a playoff for the title, which he duly won with a par on the second playoff hole (Brandt Snedeker 33/1 to win the US Money List). Stanley had gone into the final round with a five shot lead over the field and a seven shot lead over Snedeker and quickly extended this with birdies in each of his first two holes to move to 20-under par for the tournament. He had been playing some superb golf all week and looked as if he had put any potential nerves behind him with this fast start. He went on to move to 21-under par by the end of the front nine and opened up a seven shot lead over his nearest challengers.
Snedeker was playing some solid golf and was four under for his round after 10 holes moving him to 15-under for the tournament. He finished his round at 16-under par, three shots behind Stanley, who had bogied holes 11 and 12 to leave him on 19-under par going into the par 5 18th. Snedeker admitted “I just was too far back. Kyle had too big a lead”, as he watched Stanley play a wedge from 77 yards for his third shot into the 18th green. The ball landed near the pin before rolling back off the front of the green into the water. Stanley then had to two-putt from 45 feet to end with a double bogey and win the title. However, he left his first putt around four feet short and couldn’t put away his tricky double bogey putt, to bring Snedeker right back into a playoff.
After they both birdied the par 5 18th , they went onto the par 3 17th and the title was decided there with Stanley failing to make a five foot putt for par, giving Snedeker the win. His delight at winning his third PGA Tour title was somewhat muted given the circumstances of the win. “You never like winning a tournament that way. But you do like winning”, Snedeker admitted, “To get my mind around what happened the last 30 minutes is pretty hard to do right now. My heart is out to Kyle. I feel bad for him to have to go through this”. This type of collapse will draw inevitable comparisons to Jean Van de Velde’s infamous triple bogey at the 72nd hole of the 1999 British Open in Carnoustie to lose in a playoff and Robert Garrigus’s triple bogey at the last hole of the FedEx St.Jude Classic in 2010 where he suffered a similar fate. However, at the age of 24, Stanley has his best years ahead of him and if he can recover from this disappointment and continue playing the way he did for most of this week then he will undoubtedly be a multiple winner on the PGA Tour.