Brandt Snedeker holds off the best to win Tour Championship
Brandt Snedeker has taken out the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia in the 30-man field and with the victory, secured The Fed Ex Cup and claimed an astonishing $11.44 million.
Starting the week sitting in fifth position in the Fed Ex Cup standings, Snedeker knew a win at East Lake Golf Club would be enough to claim the play-off title. He was catapulted into the lead after a blistering third round of 64 on back of 17 greens in regulation.
The other players in the top five also had the same equation, but fellow Americans Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney never featured throughout the 72 holes.
Going into the final round first placed, Rory McIlroy was just two shots behind with second placed Tiger Woods just four shots back from Snedeker and Englishman Justin Rose, setting up a mouth-watering final round.
The final round, however, did not live up to the billing with the world’s two best players both struggling on the difficult layout from the outset and fading out of contention.
Cue Brandt Snedeker 31, despite making a double bogey on six, he was able to birdie the eighth, which he later said was a huge momentum shift.
Snedeker had to keep calm coming down the stretch, to hold of Justin Rose with a string of clutch up and downs, whilst his biggest challenger, Ryan Moore, faded bogeying his final three holes.
Despite all the distractions of the huge bonus on offer, Snedeker managed to remain calm finishing with a 70 (-2) and a four round total of -10.
This was enough for a three-shot win over Rose with the ever consistant Luke Donald a shot further back, Tiger and Rory finishing eighth and tenth respectively.
The life-changing win comes just two weeks after been elected as one of Fred Couple’s picks for next week’s Ryder Cup in what is proving to be a masterstroke selection.
“This is what you work your whole life for. I look at all the putts I’ve hit and all the shots I’ve hit all through my life; it’s just unbelievable the ability to stay calm today. I’m very rarely speechless.”
His coach, Ted Anderson, credits his hard work ethic to his success as opposed to natural talent that Tiger, Rory and Dustin Johnson possess.
Brandt also ranks number one on strokes gained putting on the US Tour and is proving to be one of the best in the game with the short stick; he incredibly holed 61 of 62 putts inside ten feet this week.
Brandt Snedeker is regarded as a real gentleman despite his steely determination on the course, which is evident in his plans to spend the huge sum of money on helping the less fortunate in his hometown in Nashville, Tennessee.
He is one of the rare players on tour not exclusively signed to use one brand of equipment. Although primarily endorsing Bridgestone equipment, he uses a driver you could find in the second-hand bin at American Golf for less than £100.
This was the fifth instalment of the Fed Ex Cup play-offs with Tiger Woods (twice), Vijay Singh, Bill Haas and Jim Furyk being the previous winners.
The format has since been the case of scrutiny with many believing Rory McIlroy’s effort of three big wins in five weeks enough to claim the title.
Snedeker summed it up perfectly with a smile: “timing is everything in life”.
Oliver Neave, golf correspondent