By way of his summer triumph at the Southern Amateur, Gig Harbor’s
Kyle Stanley received a sponsor’s exemption to play in this week’s
Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Golf Club.
No, it had nothing to do with the fact Stanley plays on the same Clemson men’s squad as Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders.
Stanley, a junior, has already announced he’s turning professional
sometime after the NCAA Division I men’s championships in April.
Currently Stanley, who graduated from Bellarmine Prep in 2006, leads
Clemson with his 71.44-stroke average. He won the season-opening Carpet
Capital Classic in Dalton, Ga. at 8-under 208. For his career, he has
16 top-10 finishes in 28 tournaments.
In the latest Golfweek college ratings, Stanley is ranked No. 7.
Stanley played in the 2007 Arnold Palmer Invitational, shooting rounds of 75 and 74 and missing the cut.
Only Chris Patton has played more PGA Tour events than Stanley’s
three (played in last year’s U.S. Open in San Diego) while at Clemson.
In four tries, Patton made the cut once – at the 1990 Masters.