Stanley finds Livingstone, victory

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Stanley finds Livingstone, victory

Kyle Stanley hits on the 16th fairway during the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 2, 2017, in Potomac, Md. Stanley won in a playoff. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Kyle Stanley hits on the 16th fairway during the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 2, 2017, in Potomac, Md. Stanley won in a playoff. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

AP

Kyle Stanley hits on the 16th fairway during the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 2, 2017, in Potomac, Md. Stanley won in a playoff. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

AP

AP

Kyle Stanley hits on the 16th fairway during the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 2, 2017, in Potomac, Md. Stanley won in a playoff. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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The Quicken Loans National PGA Tournament ended in a dramatic playoff Sunday evening, giving one man his first win in almost five years.

By Jess Westendorf

[email protected]

On Sunday afternoon, Kyle Stanley defeated Charles Howell III on the first playoff hole to win the 2017 Quicken Loans National, his second PGA Tour victory.

After seven long years of ups and downs, Stanley has now won again on the tour. The last time that Stanley stood in the victory circle was in 2012, when he took the Phoenix Open.

Howell had hoped to gain a third PGA Tour win. The golfer’s first win was at the Michelob Championship at Kingsmill in 2002.

His second win came in 2007 at the Nissan Open (which became the Genesis Open), in which he defeated Phil Mickelson. He hasn’t won since.

After a close battle, Clemson alum Stanley secured the victory on the first playoff hole at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland.

“It means a lot,” Stanley told an online source after the tournament. “I’ve had so much help from my coaches, my family, and my wife. It’s confirmation we’ve been working on the right things. If anything, it will make me hungrier to get to work. It means a lot to me and to my team.”

Going into Sunday’s final round of the tournament, the top three on the leaderboard were Stanley, Howell, and Rickie Fowler.

Both Stanley and Howell were right there, side by side throughout the whole thing, but Stanley came out on top with a 66, 4-under to jump up after being 4 shots behind.

Howell actually had a chance to take the trophy and the check during regulation, but he just couldn’t finish it. A 21-footer psyched the golfer out.

The putt looked perfect and smooth the whole way through until the very end, when the ball swerved to the side, forcing the playoff.

After Stanley struck his ball off the tee to the right, he was able to find a middle ground and salvage his shot, while Howell recorded a bogey from the fairway.

And a par was enough to seal the deal for Stanley, giving him a 1-shot lead and the win.

“I have a lot to digest here,” Stanley said in a release. “A lot of things come when you focus on the process. I don’t anticipate much change [the rest of the year]. We’ll continue to work hard and keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

After a pretty successful outing, both golfers should be happy with their hard-fought battle.

Fowler finished the tournament in third place and probably could have played better than he did.

He finished with a 65 but landed a double bogey on the 14th hole, adding a third bogey for the day to his stats.

One thing that was impressive on Fowler’s part was he sank nine birdies in Sunday’s round.

Next up for the pros is the FedEx Cup Thursday through July 9. Who knows? Maybe we will be in for another dramatic finish.

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