Kyle Stanley led the tournament in birdies, making 25. In the first three rounds, he never went more than five holes without a birdie but his last birdie of the final round came on the 9th hole. He played the back 9 in 5 over 41 including an 8 on the par 5 18th. Below is Kyle’s final round interview from the PGA Tour media center at Torrey Pines. (Courtesy: PGATOUR.COM)
JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Kyle Stanley to the interview room. Kyle, I know it was a difficult day. It’s not the way you wanted to finish. But I know there were a lot of positives out there this week and today. Maybe just talk about those and we’ll chat about the playoff really quick.
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, I played well. I played really well all week. Obviously, not the finish I wanted. But I think I’ve got to focus on the good things I did.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk about the playoff. Well, let’s go back to 18 and the end of regulation and the wedge shot there at 18.
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, we tried to lay it up close enough so that we wouldn’t put that much spin on it. I think we had 70, 80 maybe to the pin. Thought I had a pretty good shot but just had too much spin.
Q. How do you deal with the emotions of this? How difficult is it?
KYLE STANLEY: I don’t know right now. It’s tough. I mean, it’s really tough to take.
Q. You hit a couple of putts so fast. You didn’t seem to take any time. The one on 18 and even the one on 16, is that normally how you do it, or do you wish you had maybe stepped back a couple times?
KYLE STANLEY: No, not really. I think sometimes I tend to take too much time. The one on 16 almost had the same putt in regulation. So I knew what it did. I just had a little too much pace.
Q. Did you think both of them were going in when you hit them? The one on 18 and the last one or not?
KYLE STANLEY: The one on 18 just broke left. The one on 16 in the playoff, I just hit it too hard.
Q. And did you think you’d have as much emotion as you did going into 18? Were you nervous at all? Could you tell going up that final hole?
KYLE STANLEY: No, I wasn’t very nervous. Looking back, I don’t really know what I was thinking. It’s not a hard golf hole. It’s really a pretty straightforward par?5. I could probably play it a thousand times and never make an 8.
Q. You made a lot of great saves out there. Up until 18 tee or even the second shot, were you proud of yourself for that? I mean, you really grinded out there. You missed some short ones, but you made some incredible putts. How did you feel about what you had accomplished up to that point?
KYLE STANLEY: I felt pretty good. I didn’t hit it very well on the back. I made a nice par save on 14 to get up and down on 15, another really good putt on 16 for par.
Those really kept me in it. Then I guess the birdie putt on 17, I thought I made. I think I had a five or six hole stretch there where I hit really good putts.
Q. On the putt on 18, the downhill putt, Huh had gone before you, made it. What were you thinking speedwise, and where were you thinking leavewise? Did you want to leave it below the hole? It’s tough there because of the water.
KYLE STANLEY: I don’t know about that. He gave me the perfect lie. We knew what the putt did, I just didn’t hit it hard enough.
Q. Your third shot into 18 in regulation when the ball was in the air, did you think it was a pretty good shot and were you shocked that it rolled all the way back in?
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah. I think I landed it — I had to land it 15, 20 feet past it. I didn’t think it was going to spin that much.
Q. What did you use?
KYLE STANLEY: Sand wedge.
Q. Can you talk about the gut check that you have to go through in the last 20 minutes, 30 minutes? And also, sort of ironic, the same day that this happens, your idol also did not hit the winner’s circle. It shows it’s just not easy, is it?
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, I mean — I know I’ll be back. I’m not worried about that. It’s just tough to swallow right now. I just need to be patient. One of my goals coming into this year was to just keep putting myself in position, and I’ll do that.