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Snedeker steals one at Torrey Pines

by   |   January 29, 2012
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By Zak Kozuchowski

GolfWRX Managing Editor

Brandt Snedeker thought he was done for the day.

His final round 67 got him to 16-under at the Farmers Insurance Open, but he thought he was too far back of Kyle Stanley for his score to mean anything. He didn’t know that Stanley would suffer the worst 72nd hole collapse since Robert Garrigus’ triple bogey meltdown at since the 2010 St. Jude Classic.

Garrigus went on to lose in a playoff. So did Stanley.

No one could have predicted Stanley’s fate on the 72nd hole, not even after his third shot from 76 yards spun back into No. 18′s famous water hazard. Stanley still had three shots to spare after taking his drop, but he sent his fifth too far, into three putt territory on the back of the 18th green. He left his first putt short, giving him a nervy putt just inside four feet for victory. He pulled it left, a shock to everyone who had watched Stanley so calmly claim a lead that was as many as seven shots in the final round. He made a triple bogey 8 to fall to 16-under with Snedeker, setting up a playoff.

Stanley recovered on the first playoff hole, hitting two perfect shots on No. 18 — a huge drive and a nicely struck fade with his three wood that positioned him just off the back of the green. Snedeker, on the other hand, pulled his drive into a left fairway bunker on the first playoff hole. But the three-time PGA Tour winner laid up to a comfortable yardage and shoved a wedge to four feet, giving him a short range birdie try.

Stanley then played a shot not typical of a player trying to win for the first time on Tour, a beautiful downhill chip that settled just inside Snedeker’s ball. Both would make their putts to continue the playoff.

Stanley hit another good shot on the second playoff hole, No. 16, an iron that settled 20 feet below the hole on the par 3. Snedeker carried his tee shot over the green, but caught a break when his ball struck a media tower, keeping it from bounding into a water hazard behind the green. The 31-year-old lobbed his ball to just inside 6 feet, which meant once again Stanley had a putt for the win.

But Stanley’s approach putt never had a chance, stopping just over 5 feet away from the hole. Snedeker, one of the Tour’s best putters, drilled his putt into the the center of the hole. Stanley struck his parr put toward the hole’s right edge, which is where it stayed, giving Snedeker, who had surgery in the off season to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, his fourth win on Tour.

With the win, Snedeker earned $1,044,000, and 500 FedExCup points.

John Rollins finished in solo third place at 14-under, two back of the leaders. 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas and Cameron Tringale finished tied for fourth place at 12-under. Defending Farmers Insurance Open champion finished with a group of players a 9-under, tying for 13th place.

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Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com. He and his team cover golf's most important stories. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz.


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