5 Things: Steady Snedeker wins Canadian Open
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Brandt Snedeker steadied himself over his final six holes and held off an impressive leaderboard to capture the RBC Canadian Open title by three shots on Sunday.
Here are 5 Things you need to know from Glen Abbey Golf Course:
• • •
1. STEADY SNEDS: Brandt Snedeker was in a make-or-break situation after a sloppy tee shot on the par-3 12th on Sunday.
His ball had found the trees to the right of the green, coming to rest under a tree limb. After identifying his ball, Snedeker dropped to his knees and started to clear the debris around the ball, without the ball moving.
After pushing a few branches aside, Snedeker hammered a chip shot that fell short of the green. He'd nearly hole the par chip and tapped in for bogey, helping him maintain a one-shot advantage on the field.
Not letting the bogey get to him, Snedeker would play the next six holes in 1 under and slowly pulled away from the field behind a 2-under 70 that earned his second victory of the season and sixth of his career.
"I hung in there really well and made the key putts I needed to and I was able to survive," Snedeker said. "That's what today is all about."
"It feels great to get a win," Snedeker continued. "To validate all the hard work I've put in over the past three months where I haven't played my best and know that I'm working on the right stuff and able to hold up under some pretty serious pressure this afternoon. To win a tournament like this with those pivotal holes coming down the stretch means a lot."
Snedeker won this title with his putter, finishing first in putts per green in regulation (1.560) and ninth in strokes-gained putting (1.362). He was also fourth in sand saves, including a big one for birdie on the par-5 16th that pushed him to 16 under.
The victory was also important to him because his caddie, Scott Vail, is from Canada.
"Just ecstatic right now," Snedeker said. "This is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie is actually from Canada and it's his national open. It meant a lot to him, meant a lot to me. Third-oldest tournament on tour and it's got some great history to it, and now to put my name on that trophy it means a lot."
Snedeker's season has been impressive, picking up two victories, two second-place finishes, a third and eight top-10s in only 16 events.
• • •
2. TRIPLE TROUBLE: Dustin Johnson seemed to have the advantage down the stretch on Sunday.
With three back-nine par-5s, the bomber was looking at three birdie holes.
And he did birdie all three.
Unfortunately for Johnson, a triple-bogey on the par-4 17th erased all of that work.
Johnson blocked his tee ball well to the right on No. 17, moments after he had birdied the 16th to tie for the lead at 15 under.
Johnson's second tee ball found a fairway bunker on the left, leaving him with a tough look at the green. His fourth shot would hit the lip of the bunker and funnel back into the sand, basically taking himself out of the tournament with Snedeker having two more par-5s in front of him.
A solid approach and two putts later, Johnson had dropped all the way back to 12 under.
"I was playing really well," Johnson said. "Really confident, swinging the driver really good. So you know, it's a driver hole for me, and I just blocked it a little bit. Made a poor swing. ... Not too happy, but I felt really good with my golf game. ... It's nothing, nothing to worry about. I'll go get them next weekend."
Despite the late stumble, Johnson has played solid golf as of late, finishing in the top 13 in six of his last nine events.
• • •
3. MATT THE MACHINE: Matt Kuchar won't be happy with a T-2 finish -- although you'd never be able to know it with the smile that is seemingly plastered on his face all the time -- but his consistency in 2013 is something to marvel at.
With a final-round 71, Kuchar picked up his seventh top-10 finish of the season -- in only 17 events. He has also yet to miss a cut in 2013.
Despite not winning in Canada, Kuchar still moved to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, slightly ahead of Snedeker and nearly 300 points behind leader Tiger Woods.
• • •
4. STREAK OVER: Aaron Baddeley got a monkey off his back late Friday afternoon, as he made his first cut in his last 11 attempts on the PGA Tour.
Baddeley's stats aren't impressive this season when it comes to sticking around for the weekend, missing 12 of 21 cuts.
Yet, after a final-round, 4-under 68, Baddeley finds himself at a projected No. 112 in the FedEx Cup standings, good enough to get him into the first playoff event at the Barclays in August.
The T-9 finish in Canada is only his second top-10 finish of the season, with a T-6 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January his best.
• • •
5. SHORT SHOTS: Jason Bohn had a chance to finish solo second with a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 18, but missed to the left and cost himself nearly $300,000 . . . Hideki Matsuyama -- who has already played in two Masters, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship at the age of 21 -- finished T-16 . . . Billy Horschel struggled to a final-round 77 to finish the weekend at 5 over and 1 over for the tournament, one of six players to finish above par over four rounds . . . Patrick Reed picked up his fourth top-10 performance of the season, finishing at T-9 in Canada.
Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.