As the reigning FedEx Champion Brandt Snedeker really has nothing to prove to anyone. Yet there are those in the pundit chairs that say that to be a truly great player he has to prove able to play with the lead and win from in front. We know that he can win from behind, he did it last year at Torrey Pines when, a full half a dozen furlongs behind, he snuck up and swiped the trophy from Kyle Stanley who was having some trophy gripping issues down the stretch.
It is not like Sneds has been dogging it this year. He leads the FedEx Cup and has $1.7 million in earnings including a 3rd at the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, a 2nd at The Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines, and a 2nd at the Waste Management in Phoenix. And that’s in just four starts.
He began the day tied with the gangnam dance king James Hahn and quietly eagled the second hole to make a champion’s statement that the field needs to get on it’s horse if it was going to chase him down. Three more birdies ensued before an unfamiliar three-putt bogie on 9 to finish the front side in 32.
It is that pop putting stroke that makes Sneds a special player and he popped in birdie putts of 25 feet on 10 and 15 feet on 11 to build himself a four shot cushion heading for home. Pretty much on cruise control the rest of the way he made one more birdie for good measure at 17 and a par on 18 for 65. It sealed a comfortable two shot win at 19-under par and validated his new parking place as the #4 player in the World Golf Rankings.
Not that he needed something else to concern himself but Sneds and his fellow Vanderbilt patron Toby Wilt were in the hunt for the Pro-Am prize on Sunday as well. Their connection is deep in that Wilt played football at Vandy and created the athletic scholarship that facilitated Snedeker attendance at Vanderbilt. In the end both guys missed putts on the last hole and they had to settle for a first place tie at 31-under in the Pro-Am competition. It was two for the price of one for Sneds today.
Now the only thing missing from his resume is that major championship. For Snedeker the ultimate would be the Green Jacket and he was very close to that in 2008 before a heart breaking final round. Considering the fact that he hit close to 80% of the fairways, 80% of the greens, and putted like Crenshaw this week it might just be the U.S. Open at Merion that bests suits his game. Opie wins the Open…..has a nice ring to it.