Stanley eager for first major
Stanley, 23, arrived at Royal St. George’s after an overnight flight from the United States, eager to play in his first major championship as a professional.
He earned the British Open spot with a runner-up finish Sunday in the John Deere Championship, making up for the disappointment of squandering a two-stroke lead over the final two holes.
“I’m feeling good,” Stanley said after getting in 11 holes of practice, followed by a session on the putting and chipping greens. “There’s a lot of positives that came out of the last four days.”
The biggest one of all was getting to play in the British Open. Stanley didn’t learn he was in until he had signed his scorecard.
“I thought I had to win,” Stanley said. “But it’s a nice consolation. Any time you earn your way into a major, that’s a good thing.”
Edgerton native Steve Stricker won the Deere for the third year in a row with an amazing finish on No. 18. From the lip of a greenside bunker, he pulled off a shot that landed about 25 feet from the flag, just off the green. Then he made the birdie putt to beat Stanley, who took a bogey at the final hole.
Happy to be here
Anthony Kim missed the cut in the AT&T National and set aside the next two weeks to work on his game in what has been the worst season of his young career. His plan was to go to Michigan this week to spend time with his swing coach, Adam Schriber.
Instead, he spent Monday playing a practice round at Royal St. George’s. Kim got into the field as an alternate when Tim Clark withdrew.
“I wasn’t sure I would be here after the stretch I’ve had,” said Kim, who has only one top 10 this year and has missed the cut a career-high eight times.
Meanwhile, Thomas Bjorn will get a chance to redeem himself. Three-time major champion Vijay Singh (back issues) withdrew Monday and was replaced in the field by Bjorn, who threw away a chance at winning the claret jug on this course eight years ago.
Bjorn blew a two-shot lead with three holes to play to finish one shot behind unlikely winner Ben Curtis.