Stanley happy with form at Players Championship

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Heading into Saturday's third round of the Players Championship, Kyle Stanley's name stood out among the leaders.

Stanley, 29, has not won since the Phoenix Open in 2012, even spending stints on the Web.com Tour while he tried to regain his form.

Many thought he would falter during the penultimate round at the Players Championship, playing in uncharted territory of a colossal PGA Tour tournament.

He did not, and despite his ups and downs on the golf course, Stanley is happy with his current form, including two top-17 finishes in his last three starts, as he sits a stroke clear atop the leaderboard alongside J.B. Holmes.

"When I went through that period and just struggled for a little bit -- when the confidence goes, it just takes a little bit of -- just takes a while to get it back," Stanley said.

"I've been working really hard. I've been practicing maybe a little bit differently. Things off the golf course are really good for me. I got married about a year and a half ago, and we're settled in Gig Harbor where my wife and I both grew up. Things off the course are really good, so I think from a mental standpoint, that's helped quite a bit, as well.

"But yeah, just been working hard, happy with how things are trending. I think I've had a pretty consistent year all around, and that's something that I've been searching for, for sure. Happy with where things are at the moment."

After a slow start at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday - bogeying three of his first four holes - Stanley settled into his round and hit 13 of 14 fairways en route to an even-par 72 to remain tied for the lead at nine under.

While Stanley understands the difficulty of closing out a win this week, he is quietly confident in his game and his current position.

"My game is in pretty good shape, so [my approach is to] stay patient, stick to our game plan," Stanley said. 

"You know, and just enjoy the moment, the opportunity. Mother's Day, final group of The Players, it doesn't get much better than that. Just be grateful for the opportunity I have and enjoy it."