No more second fiddle: Snedeker wins at Pebble
Brandt Snedeker, twice a runner-up in as many weeks on the PGA Tour this season, won for the first time in 2013. The Tennessee native outpaced the field on Sunday, shooting a cool 65 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on his way to victory.
Snedeker finished at 19-under par for a tournament-record 267. With the win, he followed in the footsteps of D.A. Points, who won both the tournament and the pro-am in 2009 (with Bill Murray) at Pebble Beach. Snedeker and his partner Toby S. Wilt tied with Michael Letzig and his partner John Erickson for first.
Snedeker began the day tied for the lead with James Hahn at 12-under. He seized the outright lead with an eagle at the second hole. After that, it was really never close. Snedeker went out in a nearly flawless 32, his only blemish coming with a bogey at No. 9.
The Vanderbilt alumnus quickly rectified his mistake with a birdie at No. 10 and added another at No. 11 for good measure.
It was all pars for Snedeker from Nos. 12 to 16, and he stepped to the famous par-three 17th hole with a two-shot lead. A beautifully struck 7 iron from 184 yards to within 10 feet virtually assured Snedeker his fifth PGA Tour victory.
Snedeker — last year’s leader in the Tour’s Strokes Gained-Putting statistic — poured in the putt for a birdie two. All the 2012 FedExCup Champion had to do was keep his tee shot out of the Pacific Ocean on No. 18, which he did with a hybrid off the tee. After laying up to a comfortable distance, Snedeker hit the green two-putted for a two-stroke victory.
Chris Kirk, who began the day a stroke behind Snedeker and Hahn, was unable to catch the former on Sunday, try as he might. Kirk cut Snedeker’s lead to two strokes after 14 holes, but that was as close as he got. Kirk finished in second place at 17-under, carding a 66 for the day.
Both Kevin Stadler and Johnnie Walker were in fine form on Sunday, shooting 65 and 66 respectively, each tying for third.
James Hahn, who gained a bit of noteriety last week for his “Gangnam Style” dance at the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open couldn’t keep pace with his playing partner, Snedeker. The former shoe salesman shot a 70 to tie Stadler and Walker for third place.
Making his first start on the PGA Tour this year, Retief Goosen carded a 69 Sunday. Goosen, who hadn’t entered the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 2010, played well all four days. He fired rounds of 71-68-67 to go along with his Sunday 69 to tie for ninth place.
Embattled Hall of Famer Vijay Singh made headlines early in the week when he reportedly met with Commissioner Tim Finchem to discuss his use of a banned substance. Singh finished tied for 50th, with a pedestrian 74 on Sunday.
Another Hall of Fame inductee, Phil Mickelson, was also a non-factor. Mickelson, who came into the tournament red hot after a scorching four-shot shot victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, finished tied for 60th with a 72 in the final round. Unfortunately, Mickelson’s most memorable moment at Pebble Beach this year was falling on his behind looking for his ball on the 18th hole on Saturday.
Mike Weir, who has struggled in recent years, made the cut at Pebble, finishing in a tie for 50th. For the 2004 Masters Champion, it was his second made cut of the year. Another former major champion who has had great difficulty in recent years, David Duval, was playing on a sponsor’s exemption. Duval shot 79-73-70 to miss the cut.
Also playing on a sponsor’s exemption, rookie Patrick Cantlay fared a bit better. The former UCLA standout finished in a tie for ninth.