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Kyle Stanley at the 76th Masters, preview

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on April 4, 2012 at 11:32 am with No Comments »
April 4, 2012 11:32 am

This week: The Masters, Thursday through Sunday, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

World ranking: 47th.

2012 earnings: $1.996 million (No. 5 on the PGA Tour).

Best Masters finish: First appearance.

Best finish at a major championship: Tied for 44th at the 2011 British Open (11-over-par 291).

Stanley’s favorite hole at Augusta National: “Probably No. 14 (an uphill par 4). I know it is kind of an odd hole … but for some reason that hole more than any on this golf course really suits my eye. The tee shot is a tight little draw, and the approach shot is a nice little mid-iron or wedge.”

Stanley’s favorite shot at Augusta National: “Probably my tee ball off of No. 1, just because it will be my first shot at the Masters.”

Stanley will be in contention if … : “I am really patient, and I need to be smart and you need to kind of challenge yourself to be aggressive, but by making aggressive swings to smart targets. And I need to putt well.”

Outlook: The Bellarmine Prep product hits is very far (No. 6 in driving distance at 305.8 yards per drive) and hits a lot of greens in regulation (No. 12 at 70.6 percent). Those two things should give him a really good chance of making the cut. And if the second-year PGA Tour professional can make a few putts early, and get a feel for the vast speed of the greens, he could make an interesting sleeper to contend.

The News Tribune pick: First-year entrants such as Stanley rarely win here. That is why the pick is American Bubba Watson, who leads the PGA Tour in greens hit in regulation, can get home on all the par-5 holes with iron approaches and has started to find his putting stroke.

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