BILL DWYRE

Scott Stallings earns his stripes at Torrey Pines

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Until Sunday, Stallings' career, despite his two wins and career prize money that now adds up to $6,184,177, has been off the marquee. He has played a total of six majors, with his best finish a tie for 27th in the 2012 Masters.

Around Southern California, Stallings seemed best remembered for one bad swing.

That came on the final hole of last year's Humana Challenge in the desert. Stallings began the day leading by five shots. On the 18th hole, a par-five with water along the left all the way to the green, he hit his second shot just badly enough that it trickled into the water. Brian Gay won later in a playoff that Stallings didn't even make.

Flash forward to Sunday, No. 18 at Torrey Pines. He faced an almost identical second shot, with similar pressure. Water in front, a chance to make birdie for a likely win or make another mess of things. Did he remember Humana?

"Absolutely," he said.

"I still think about it a lot because I played so well ... I didn't make a bogey for 62 holes or something like that…I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 today."

Sunday, Stallings had 220 yards to the front of the green and 227 to the pin. He hit a four-iron, it cleared the water, trickled onto the green and then started to trickle back toward the water. But it stopped.

He two-putted for birdie and nine under par, then had to wait for Torrey Pines to have its way with the contenders in the two final groups.

True to form, Stallings stood off to the side during the victory ceremony on No. 18, waiting for the big check and the trophy. Near the back of the green, under the watchful eye of mom Jennifer, Stallings' toddler son, Finn, found a comfortable place to sit — right on the scoring placard of the final group of Gary Woodland, Marc Leishman and Jordan Spieth. Soon, he got up and stomped on it, much as his dad had just done to them.

Sunday night, the Stallings family was scheduled to drive back to their winter headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. He has a pro-am to play Monday at 10 a.m.

Suffice to say, everybody there will recognize him.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com
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