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PGA Tour rookie Jimmy Stanger having his own version of March Madness

PGA Tour rookie Jimmy Stanger having his own version of March Madness

Jimmy Stanger is on a pretty sweet run.

In addition to finishing a career-best T-3 at the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago and cashing his largest paycheck ($212,000), the PGA Tour rookie earned his way into last week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, near his adopted hometown, as the last man in the field thanks to the kindness and generosity of Tiger Woods.

“I was probably one of the happiest guys in the country that Tiger decided not to play,” Stanger said.

The 27-year-old Stanger, who could be the Tour’s new “Mr. Congeniality,” moved to Jacksonville a few years ago with one distinct purpose: to test his game at one of the best courses day in, day out.

“I think it’s a big reason I’m on the PGA Tour now,” said Stanger, who graduated from Virginia in 2017 and turned pro shortly thereafter.

Stanger finished T-35 last week at TPC Sawgrass, which is also the site of where he proposed late last year to his girlfriend, Isabel, who he met walking into Grace Community Church in Mandarin, a neighborhood located in the southernmost portion of Jacksonville on the eastern banks of the St. Johns River.

“Is there a more beautiful spot? I don’t think there is a more beautiful spot in Jacksonville than that back range,” he said of the home of the Tour’s flagship event.

Stanger had some golf friends, including fellow Tour rookie Adrien Dumont De Chassart, pals Phillip Knowles and Dawson Armstrong, form a wall so no one else would practice where Stanger planned his big moment with a photographer standing by to capture the moment. When Isabel and Stanger’s mom arrived at the course, Stanger explained their dinner plans were delayed and to come back to the range, where he was waiting on one knee.

“Fortunately, she said yes,” Stanger said, adding that they are finalizing plans for a September wedding.

Isabel and some of their mutual friends were rocking T-shirts that said, “Stanger Thangs,” and designed in the cover art of the popular Netflix science fiction drama series “Stranger Things.” There is expected to be an even bigger following of Stanger supporters this week at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida, which is not far from where Stanger was born raised in Tampa. He fondly recalls receiving his first golf trophy at age six, and winning the Greater Tampa Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions when he was eight years old. (He still spends a lot of…


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