Four weeks after beating the former Clemson golfer in a playoff at Torrey Pines, Snedeker topped Stanley 2 and 1 on Thursday in the second round of the Match Play Championship.
“We’ve got some history going on,” Snedeker, a former Vanderbilt golfer, said. “He’s a great guy. I played really good today. We just gave each other a few too many holes.”
At Torrey Pines, Stanley led by seven shots early in the final round, and still had a four-shot lead as he stood on the tee at the par-5 18th. But his third shot had too much spin and didn’t get high enough on the green, spinning down the slope and into the water. He three-putted from 45 feet, then lost to Snedeker on the second playoff hole when his 5-foot par putt caught the right edge of the cup.
On Thursday at Dove Mountain, Stanley bogeyed the final three holes. Snedeker won the par-4 15th and par-3 16th with pars, then matched Stanley’s bogey on the par-4 17th for a halve to close out the victory.
Stanley rebounded quickly after the devastating loss at Torrey Pines, overcoming an eight-stroke deficit a week later to win the Phoenix Open.
Snedeker will play Peter Hanson today.
“If he gets his putter working, he’s pretty tough to beat,” Snedeker said.
“So, I know I’ve got my hands full tomorrow. I’ve just got to go out there and hit a lot of fairways and hit a lot of greens and put some pressure on him.”
Hansen beat Ernie Els 5 and 4. Els had defeated top-seeded Luke Donald on Wednesday.
HORSING AROUND: Lee Westwood took a break on the driving range before his second-round match to watch a horse race on his phone.
“I had a horse running in Dubai about an hour before I teed off,” Westwood said. “Rerouted. It’s a good horse, just doesn’t win. At least it came in second, which I can sympathize with to a certain extent.”
The third-ranked Westwood, in position to take the top spot from Luke Donald with a victory in the final Sunday, beat Robert Karlsson 3 and 2 to set up a third-round match against Nick Watney – a 1-up winner over Tiger Woods.
Second-ranked Rory McIlroy also can take the No. 1 spot with a tournament victory.
He beat Anders Hansen 3 and 2 to advance to play Miguel Angel Jimenez.
BIRDIE HUNTER: Hunter Mahan had nine birdies – the last two conceded – in 15 holes in his 5-and-3 victory over Y.E. Yang.