Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor makes his Masters debut Thursday at Augusta National, about two hours from where he played college golf at Clemson.

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Late-night trips to driving range

helped Stanley reach elite level

Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor played college golf at Clemson, which is about 2 ½ hours from Augusta National in Georgia — where he will compete in the Masters for the first time starting Thursday.

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But Stanley, 24, won’t be able to stay on the practice range at Augusta National the way he did at Clemson. One thing that appealed to Stanley about the Tigers’ program was a lighted driving range coach Larry Penley had installed at the South Carolina school.

“You could pretty much practice whenever you wanted,” Stanley recalled. “It was pretty cool.”

Stanley has hit balls at 3 a.m. He had a strict routine: His last shot had to be his best one, or he wouldn’t leave the driving range. There were times he got out to his car, decided he wasn’t satisfied and returned to the range until he hit his best shot.

Stanley said a turning point in his work ethic came when he was at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma and missed the cut at a tournament.

“I remember just talking to my dad (Matt) and he kind of explained to me, ‘Listen, if you want to be really good, if you want to be one of the best players in the world, you’re going to have to work at it.’ I made the transformation pretty quickly,” Stanley said.

Stanley is ranked fifth in PGA Tour FedEx Cup points this year.

College football

Arkansas coach Petrino

crashes motorcycle, is injured

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino veered off a two-lane highway Sunday night, crashing his motorcycle and winding up in the hospital.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Petrino, 51, was taken to a hospital.

“Coach Petrino was involved in a motorcycle accident on Sunday evening that involved no other individuals,” a statement from Petrino’s family said. “He is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.”

In a 2008 interview, Petrino said he has been a motorcycle rider since he was 10.

Carson to transfer from Oregon

Sophomore running back Tre Carson has not enrolled in spring classes at Oregon and intends to transfer. He rushed for 254 yards and a touchdown in 10 games last season.


Coaches are fined by league

Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was fined $10,000 after calling out counterpart Dan Bylsma for sending out his checking line late in Philadelphia’s 6-3 victory over the host Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato, who stepped on the top of the side boards and between the two coaches, was fined $2,500.

Laviolette was upset the Penguins’ fourth line took a shift shortly after Jakub Voracek’s empty-net goal concluded the scoring.

During the shift, Penguins forward Joe Vitale leveled Flyers center Daniel Briere shortly after the ensuing faceoff, starting a chain of events that included Laviolette smashing a stick over the glass.

“Those guys hadn’t been out there in 12 minutes,” Laviolette said after the game. “It’s a gutless move by their coach. It’s gutless.”

Bylsma didn’t see it that way, saying Vitale’s shot on Briere was clean.


Vonn doesn’t need knee surgery

Overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., won’t need surgery on her sore knees, merely rest after a long season.

Tests Monday revealed some fraying of the meniscus in Vonn’s left knee, but no tear. The 27-year-old’s right knee turned out to be fine.


Manchester United extends lead

Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young scored late goals to lead Manchester United past host Blackburn 2-0.

Defending champion Manchester United opened a season-high, five-point lead in the English Premier League over second-place Manchester City with seven matches left.

Manchester United (24-3-4) has 76 points.

Mexico beats Honduras in OT

In a matchup of teams that earned London Olympics berths two days earlier, Mexico beat Honduras 2-1 in overtime in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament final in Kansas City, Kan.

Mexico’s Miguel Angel Ponce scored the winning goal late in overtime.


Mardy Fish, told by doctors he needs rest, pulled out of this week’s Davis Cup quarterfinal between the United States and France in Monte Carlo. The 30-year-old Fish, at No. 9, is the highest-ranked American in men’s tennis.

Ryan Harrison replaces Fish on the U.S. roster against France, which will be missing 14th-ranked Gael Monfils because of an abdominal injury.

• American cyclist Levi Leipheimer said he felt “lucky to be alive” after he was struck from behind by a car while training for a race.

Leipheimer, 38, was treated at a hospital for a sore and swollen lower left leg, but he had no broken bones. The Omega Pharma-Quick-Step rider was training by himself for the Tour of Basque Country in Spain.

“This is one of those mornings when feeling like I got run over is actually true,” Leipheimer wrote on Twitter.

Leipheimer will skip the six-stage race, which began Monday.

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