Week after meltdown, Stanley takes advantage of one to win
Kyle Stanley rebounded from a devastating loss to win the Phoenix Open, overcoming an eight-stroke deficit Sunday in a comeback as unlikely as his collapse last week at Torrey Pines.
In tears seven days ago in San Diego after blowing a big lead — dropping the final strokes with a triple-bogey 8 on the final hole — and losing a playoff, Stanley took advantage of Spencer Levin's meltdown Sunday to win his first PGA Tour title.
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"I'm not sure what I'm thinking right now," Stanley said. "I just needed to focus on playing golf. I needed to put last week behind me."
Ben Crane had a 66 to finish a stroke back. Levin, six strokes ahead entering the round and seven in front after one hole, shot a 75 to finish two strokes behind Stanley.
"I just didn't have it," Levin said. "Maybe I was looking ahead too much and trying too hard. What are you going to do? I tried my best."
Stanley, 24, the long-hitting former Clemson star from Gig Harbor, Wash., birdied the par-5 13th and par-4 14th to take a one-stroke lead at 15 under. Levin, winless on the PGA Tour, birdied the 14th to regain a share of the lead but dropped back with a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 15th.
"I really feel for him," Stanley said. "You don't want to wish that on anyone. He's a very good player. ... I feel bad for him."
Stanley parred the final three holes. Did this victory erase last week?
"Not really," Stanley said. "I'm never going to forget that."
D.J. Trahan had a 66 to finish fourth at 12 under, and Brendan Steele (64) was another stroke back along with Kevin Na (65) and Bubba Watson (70).
Phil Mickelson shot a 73 to tie for 26th at 6 under.
"I felt good," the former Arizona State star said. "I just couldn't quite get it going."
Lawrie holds on to win Qatar Open
Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie chipped in for an eagle and a birdie on his way to winning the wind-shortened Qatar Open on Sunday, shooting a 7-under 65 to hold off Jason Day and Peter Hanson. Lawrie finished with a 15-under total of 201 to win his seventh European Tour event and his second in Qatar. Day (65) and Hanson (67) tied for second, four strokes back. Lawrie came into the final round with a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts. The 1999 British Open champion started slowly, with only a birdie on his first eight holes. But just as several players, including Sergio Garcia (68), were challenging for the lead, Lawrie sank a 20-yard chip for eagle on the 9th hole to go up by two.
Early on, it looked as if Garcia might overtake Lawrie for the win. The Spaniard opened with six birdies on his first 11 holes, but his putter went cold on the back nine.
First-round leader John Daly (67) finished fourth at 9 under, with Garcia, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (65), Ricardo Gonzalez (70) and Soren Hansen (66) another shot back in a tie for fifth. Third-ranked Lee Westwood (69) finished nine shots back after a roller-coaster round that included seven birdies and four bogeys. He also apologized on Twitter for using profanity, posting: "Sorry about swearing on the 16th tee. Came off like a rocket and thought it was going further! Wash my mouth out! Perils of live tv."
■ Christel Boeljon birdied the final hole to win the Australian Ladies Masters by one stroke Sunday. The Dutch golfer, 24, closed with a 4-under 68 in the final round to finish with a 21-under total 267 at the 6,647-yard Royal Pines course, one shot clear of overnight leader So Yeon Ryu and Kim Ha-neul of South Korea and Italy's Diana Luna.
Game on Dude wins San Antonio Stakes
Game On Dude defeated Uh Oh Bango by 51/4 lengths to win the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita, giving jockey Chantal Sutherland a victory over former fiancé Mike Smith that she was denied in the Breeders' Cup Classic. In November at Churchill Downs, Smith and Drosselmeyer overtook front-running Sutherland and Game On Dude in the closing furlongs to win the $5 million Classic. Racing for the first time since that defeat, Game On Dude covered 11⁄8 miles in 1:46.88 and paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10 as the 3-10 favorite. Uh Oh Bango, with Smith aboard, returned $3 and $2.20, while Victory Pete was another 121/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show. Retired Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who co-owns Game On Dude, was on hand for the first time to see the horse race.
Penny signs with Japanese team
The Softbank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League signed former major-league pitcher Brad Penny to a one-year contract, the team announced on its Web site Sunday. The 33-year-old right-hander is expected to arrive in Japan on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Penny went 11-11 last season for the Detroit Tigers with a 5.30 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 31 games. He has a 119-99 record and a 4.23 ERA over a 12-year major-league career that included stints with the Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
Contador 98th on eve of doping verdict
Nearing a verdict on his Tour de France doping case after a 17-month wait, Alberto Contador finished 98th in the Mallorca Challenge on Sunday. The Spaniard was set to return to Madrid following the race. The Court of Arbitration for Sport rules Monday on whether Contador will be banned after returning a positive drug test in winning the 2010 Tour. Contador, a three-time Tour champion, faces a two-year ban for testing positive for clenbuterol. He blames the result on eating contaminated beef during the race. The International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency challenged a Spanish cycling federation decision to exonerate Contador. Contador was in Mallorca for the day for the 72-mile race. He finished 15 seconds behind winner Andrew Fenn of Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
The last word
TNT's Conan O'Brien, after supermodel Gisele Bündchen asked people to pray for her husband to win the Super Bowl:
"In response, God said, 'You know what, I think I've done enough for Tom Brady.' "