This week: The 112th U.S. Open, Thursday through Sunday, The Olympic Club (Lake Course), San Francisco.
World ranking: 56th.
2012 earnings: $2.02 million (16th on the PGA Tour).
Best U.S. Open finish: 53rd in 2009 at Bethpage Black (13-over 293).
Best finish at a major championship: Tied for 44th at the 2011 British Open (11-over-par 291).
Stanley’s favorite hole at Olympic Club: “I like the back nine a lot – it kind of sets up well to my eye. You have to go a lot of right-to-left … on the holes, and that is the direction the wind goes as well. It is a comfortable nine (holes) for me.”
Stanley will be in contention if … : Well, after missing four cuts in a row for the first time as a professional before finishing tied for 49th at last week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, he does not come in with a whole lot of momentum or outside expectations. Contending might be asking a lot.
Outlook: Stanley is restructuring his structure – his practice habits, his routine. It is all designed to retrace the steps in getting back to the winner’s circle. In the late afternoon Tuesday playing with PGA Tour veteran Joe Ogilvie, Stanley said he felt his old, ‘A’ game form. It certainly has given him an added spring to his step heading into today’s first-round tee time. Making the cut would be a good block to build the rest of his summer on.
The News Tribune pick: The winner must hit many of these greens in regulation (try at least 16 of the 18 per round). The putting surfaces consist of a different grass now (bent to poa annua), which means they will be firmer and faster, but putts will stay on a truer line. That is where American Steve Stricker has the advantage of virtually the rest of the field. He will emerge with his first major victory.