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After banner 2011, Stanley knows he ‘can be a top player’

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Dec. 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm with No Comments »
December 24, 2011 2:40 pm

Starting to make my rounds with the locals on the PGA Tour. Today, I met with Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley, who is coming off a superb rookie season.

22 cuts made in 28 tournaments, $1.52 million earned, runner-up finish to Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic.

Stanley gave his season a solid ‘B’ grade.

Some quick-hit stuff from the interview:

* Stanley gave a lot of credit to Bobby Brown, who was his caddie from mid-year on. Brown, however, returned to Dustin Johnson’s bag right before the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in late October.

In the past few days, the Bellarmine Prep product hired a new caddie for 2012 – Brett Waldman, who played on the Nationwide Tour last season.

* Stanley did all sorts of experimentation with putters last season. He started with a 35-inch putter, went to the belly putter for a few events and finished up with a 36-inch putter.

He will start the year with a 35-inch Scotty Cameron Newport GSS putter that he had fitted at the factory in California. He also had a “Go Zags” reading put on the face of it.

* Stanley has hooked up with short-game guru James Sieckmann, of Omaha, Neb. Sieckmann has worked with other PGA Tour players such as Ben Crane, D.J. Trahan and Charlie Wi.

Sieckmann, a four-time Nebraska PGA Tour instructor of the year from Shadow Ridge Country Club, is really providing insight for Stanley on reading greens.

* The plan early is for Stanley to start 2012 at the Sony Open as part of playing four tournaments in a row (Bob Hope, Farmers Insurance and Phoenix Open), then take a week off at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am before resuming at the Northern Trust Open in mid-February.

Of course, schedules DO change!

* Quotable for 2012: “It is always a process – you are always trying to get better. My progression since since I started playing competitively, it has always been upward. You can’t put a timeline on when certain things will happen. I am always trying to get better. As long as I do that, I can be a top player.”

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