Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hottest player in golf breaks tourney mark

Snedeker brings Pebble to its knees at 20-under par

  • Print

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Brandt Snedeker didn't have to take a back seat to anyone at Pebble Beach.

A runner-up to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each of the last two weeks, Snedeker finished off a record performance Sunday with a 7-under 65 for a two-shot victory over Chris Kirk in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Snedeker holed a 10-foot birdie on the 17th hole, and then tapped in for par to finish at 19-under 267. That broke the tournament record by one shot held by Mickelson (2007) and Mark O'Meara (1997), who each had a 20-under 268 when Poppy Hills was still in the rotation.

The hottest player in golf, Snedeker finally has a trophy to show for it.

"Feels great to finish one," he said. "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."

In five starts this year, he already had a win, two second-place finishes and a third. He never had much of a chance against Woods at Torrey Pines or Mickelson at the Phoenix Open, who each had big leads going into the final round.

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. Snedeker responded to his only bogey, a three-putt at No. 9, by rolling in birdie putts on the next two holes.

He took a long gaze out at the Pacific while waiting on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach, perhaps reflecting on an amazing ride over the last six months -- winning the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize, his first Ryder Cup team, and a blazing start to the new season.

Snedeker goes to No. 4 in the world, the highest ranking of his career and second only to Woods among Americans.

"Kind of crazy to think what's happened," he said.

He now heads off to a vacation on Maui before returning for the stretch run leading to the Masters. Winning a major is the next step for Snedeker, a 32-year-old from Nashville who has emerged as a veritable threat wherever he plays with a confident putting stroke and a dramatic increase in hitting fairways off the tee.

Hahn wound up with a 2-under 70 and tied for third with Jimmy Walker (66) and Kevin Stadler (65). The day wasn't a total loss for Hahn. He previously tied for fourth at the Humana Challenge, and his tie for third gets him into Riviera next week. He hasn't missed a cut this year and is already 11th in the FedEx Cup standings.

The only drama on a pristine day on the Monterey Peninsula came from Patrick Reed. His 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole gave him a tie for seventh with Fredrik Jacobson, and kept Jacobson from qualifying for the Match Play Championship by 0.0002 points.

The final spot in the 64-man field based on the world ranking instead goes to Shane Lowery of Ireland, who did not play this week.

The only disappointment for Snedeker was having to settle for par on the final hole, and watching his amateur, Toby Wilt, graze the edge of the cup with his final putt. That means he had to share first place in the pro-am with Michael Letzig and John Erickson. Wilt, an investor from Nashville, endowed a golf scholarship at Vanderbilt, and Snedeker was the first recipient.

Snedeker has come a long way and might just be getting started. This was the fifth win of his career.

Mickelson, the defending champion, hit two more balls in the ocean on the 18th hole, but at least this time he didn't slip on the rocks. He closed with a 72 and tied for 60th.

Snedeker kept to his strategy of attacking the opening seven holes, the key to scoring at Pebble Beach.

For a short time, Hahn stayed right with him.

Snedeker hit a 4-iron that caught the collar of the green and rolled to 4 feet on the par-5 second hole. Hahn followed with a high, pure shot that landed on the green and nearly hit Snedeker's ball before stopping 6 feet away.

Hahn missed his putt. Snedeker made his. That became the difference.

Snedeker made five bogeys this week, and answered with a birdie four times. He rammed home a 25-foot birdie on the 10th, and then followed that with a 15-foot birdie on the 11th to expand his lead to four shots.

From there, it was a battle for second place -- and for the final spot in the Match Play Championship. Mickelson already has said he won't be playing in two weeks, so the top 65 are eligible.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 11, 2013 C11

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: School supply shopping

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100527-Winnipeg Free Press THe Provencher Foot Bridge is lit up
  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Bombers MVP so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google