Stanley banishes PGA Tour ghosts with first win

    American golfer Kyle Stanley won his first tournament since turning professional in 2009.

    Story highlights

    • American golfer Kyle Stanley wins first professional title at the Phoenix Open
    • Stanley blew a seven-shot lead at the Farmers Insurance Open one week ago
    • Stanley capitalizes on Spencer Levin's capitulation after he blew a six-shot overnight lead
    • The win gives Stanley over $1m in prize money and puts him top of FedEx Cup standings
    One week ago, Kyle Stanley was reduced to tears after a heartbreaking collapse saw him surrender a seven-shot lead in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
    On Sunday, the American was once again in tears. But this time they were tears of joy after Stanley benefited from a similarly dramatic meltdown from Spencer Levin to seal a one-stroke win at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix, Arizona.
    Stanley carded a six-under-par 65 in the final round to finish 15 under for the tournament, while Levin blew a six-shot overnight lead by hitting a four-over 75.
    "I think the biggest challenge was seeing if I could put last week behind me," Stanley told the PGA Tour's official website after picking up his first professional win.
    "I think I did. You go from a very low point to a high point. I'm not sure I expected to maybe recover this quickly."
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    Stanley said his experience at Torrey Pines -- where he triple-bogeyed the 18th and missed a five-foot putt in a playoff against eventual winner Brandt Snedeker -- made his triumph all the better.
    "I'm never going to forget that," he said of his nightmare final round said. "But I think it makes this one a lot sweeter, just being able to bounce back.
    "I'm kind of at a loss for words. I'm very grateful for the support I've gotten. It's unbelievable. Unbelievable turnaround."
    Levin's horrible round was compounded by a disastrous sequence of events at the par-five 15th, where his drive found a cactus patch before he hit his third shot into the water.
    "It just wasn't my day, obviously," said Levin, who is still looking for his first Tour victory. "But I gave it away, simple as that. You have a six-shot lead and lose, you gave it away.
    "My hat's off to Kyle. He played a great round. He went and got it. But if you've got a six-shot lead and don't win, then I think it's on the player with the lead, for sure."
    Stanley took home a check for $1.098 million and moved to the top of the early-season FedEx Cup standings.
    Ben Crane (66) finished the weekend in second on 14 under, with Levin third on 13 under and D.J. Trahan on 12 under after a 66.
    World No. 19 Bubba Watson (70) was tied for fifth on 11 under alongside fellow Americans Brendan Steele (64) and Kevin Na (65).
    Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, was in a four-way tie for 15th after a four-under 67, with 2010 PGA Tour rookie of the year Rickie Fowler -- ranked 37th in the world -- carding a 69 to finish on six under in a six-way tie for 26th.
    Snedeker tied for 50th on two under after a 68.