Snedeker backs up hot play with win
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.—With one last birdie, Brandt Snedeker finally had a chance to catch his breath at one of the best places in golf.
He was on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach with a three-shot lead yesterday as he gazed into the sun at an endless ocean and tried to grasp just how far he has come in the past few months.
He played in his first Ryder Cup.
In his past nine tournaments, Snedeker has six finishes in the top three, including back-to-back weeks as the runner-up to Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
He wasn’t about to let anyone get in his way at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“Just hard to put into words, to have a stretch of golf like I had the last couple of months,” Snedeker admitted after his two-shot win.
“Something you dream about,” he added. “Something you think that you can do, but you don’t really know until you actually put it together. And I have.
“I’m really enjoying this, and hopefully can parlay this into the best year of my career.”
Snedeker was the best all week at Pebble Beach, finishing at 19-under 267 to break by one shot the tournament record.
Mickelson (2007) and Mark O’Meara (1997) each had a 20-under 268 when Poppy Hills was still in the rotation.
Snedeker built his lead in the final round by playing the opening seven holes in five-under, fired at the flag on the par-three 17th to set up his last birdie, and then closed with a seven-under 65—his 10th-consecutive round in the 60s.
A tap-in par on the 18th gave him a two-shot win over Chris Kirk, who stayed in the hunt all day without ever putting too much pressure on Snedeker.
The hottest player in golf, Snedeker finally has a trophy to show for it.
“The last two weeks, playing great but running into two Hall-of-Famers, really motivated me to go out and prove that I can handle the lead,” he remarked.
In five starts this year, the 32-year-old from Nashville already has a win, two second-place finishes, and a third.
Snedeker was tied with James Hahn, a 31-year-old rookie from the Bay Area, and seized control with an eagle and three birdies on the opening seven holes.
Hahn wound up with a two-under 70 and tied for third with Jimmy Walker (66) and Kevin Stadler (65).
Ottawa’s Brad Fritsch shot a 69 yesterday to finish at four-under in a tie for 40th while Mike Weir (73) of Brights Grove, Ont. was two shots back in a tie for 50th.