Snedeker benefits from Stanley's errors again

Ex-Vandy star benefits from ex-Tiger's woes

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MARANA, Ariz. — Brandt Snedeker took advantage of Kyle Stanley’s late meltdown – again.

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England's Lee Westwood beat Robert Karlsson 3 and 2 on Thursday and now plays Nick Watney. Westwood would be ranked No. 1 if he wins the tournament.  ERIC RISBERG/ASSOCIATED PRESS
England's Lee Westwood beat Robert Karlsson 3 and 2 on Thursday and now plays Nick Watney. Westwood would be ranked No. 1 if he wins the tournament.

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.

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