ATLANTA — Brandt Snedeker used a final-round, 2-under 68 – the only player in the final three groups to card an under-par round – and cruised to a three-shot victory at the Tour Championship, clinching the $10 million FedEx Cup in the process.
Here are 5 Things that you need to know after Snedeker’s victory:
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1. SUPER SNEDS: Brandt Snedeker controlled his own destiny at the outset of the week, one of five players that would win the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake.
And after six holes on Thursday, Snedeker sat at 3 over.
He played the next 66 holes at 13 under, using five birdies on Sunday and a bogey-free 64 on Saturday to win his second PGA Tour title of the season.
“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. It just came through. I was so calm last night, I couldn’t believe it. Just, I’m very rarely speechless, but this is about as close as I get to speechless,” said Snedeker.
Snedeker overcame double-bogeys at the par-3 sixth hole in the first and final rounds to win the Tour Championship title. Until that double on Sunday, he had gone 23 straight holes without a bogey at a tough East Lake layout.
He was second in driving accuracy at 66.1 percent, while only needing 26.5 putts per round.
Now Snedeker will move to the Ryder Cup, where he was a wild-card selection by Davis Love.
“I’m not under any illusion of being calm next week. I know it’s going to be a very pressure?packed week. But I am going to use today as a huge thing to fall back on next week. I played against the best in the world this week for 72 holes and I beat them,” said Snedeker.
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2. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Rory McIlroy said that his mission this week was to protect his FedEx Cup lead.
While Snedeker eliminated that hope with his victory, his play on Sunday didn’t push Snedeker whatsoever, settling for an 4-over 74 and finished T-10 at 1 under overall.
McIlroy had a double-bogey and four bogeys on Sunday, with his first birdie of the day coming at No. 12. McIlroy admitted that at one point, he started playing for second place.
“Most of the back nine I was just trying to consolidate second place, if I’m honest,” said McIlroy. “I was still trying to play well and trying to make a few birdies, but I didn’t want to try to force the issue and drop anymore spots. So I just tried to hang on to that second position.
“I didn’t even know on the last whether I needed that putt or not to stay in second place, but I held it anyway, which was nice.”
McIlroy wins $3 million for finishing No. 2 in the FedEx Cup race.
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3. TIGER UNTRACKED: There was the first-round and third-round Tiger Woods, and then there was the second-round and fourth-round Tiger Woods.
And the latter situation was a bad one for the two-time FedEx Cup champion.
Woods didn’t hit a fairway through his opening seven holes on Sunday, also putting a ball into the drink at the par-3 6th for a double-bogey as his dream of a $10 million bonus were washed away early on Sunday. He carded a 2-over 72 to finish at 2 under for the tournament.
Over his final 10 holes, Woods picked up four birdies and two bogeys, including a near ace at the par-3 18th hole.
“I just didn’t have it this weekend,” he said. “I wasn’t sharp.”
Over the four rounds, Woods did have 18 birdies, but was done in by two double bogeys (his other in the second round) and 12 bogeys. His putting was solid for the week, averaging 1.696 strokes per green in regulation, but he hit only 51.8 percent of fairways.
This will likely end Woods’ PGA Tour season in the U.S., as he will play overseas until his own event at the outset of December.
“Considering where I was at last year, it’s nice to be where I’m at now,” Woods said. “I was obviously struggling with my health last year, and this year I was able to turn it around and I played some pretty good golf this year which was good.”
Woods wins $2 million for finishing No. 3 in the FedEx Cup race.
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4. PREVIEW OF WHAT’S TO COME? The United States’ Ryder Cup squad had all of its 12 members at the Tour Championship, while five from the European squad made the trip to East Lake.
The U.S. team finished a cumulative 8 under, while the European squad was 2 over. Nine players from the U.S. finished T-15 or better, while the European team had four T-10 or better.
United States team
• 1. Brandt Snedeker, 10 under
• T-5. Webb Simpson, 5 under
• T-5. Bubba Watson, 5 under
• 7. Jim Furyk, 3 under
• T-8. Tiger Woods, 2 under
• T-10. Dustin Johnson, 1 under
• T-10. Matt Kuchar, 1 under
• T-15. Phil Mickelson, 1 over
• T-15. Zach Johnson, 1 over
• T-20. Jason Dufner, 4 over
• 22. Steve Stricker, 6 over
• T-23. Keegan Bradley, 7 over
• 2. Justin Rose, 7 under
• T-3. Luke Donald, 6 under
• T-10. Rory McIlroy, 1 under
• T-15. Sergio Garcia, 1 over
• 30. Lee Westwood, 15 over
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5. SHORT SHOTS: No one in the field had four rounds in the 60s, with four players carding three (Snedeker, McIlroy, Rose and Robert Garrigus) . . . Luke Donald picked up back-to-back 67s to vault into a T-3 finish . . . Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson both posted 4-under 66s on Sunday, impressive considering there were 20 rounds at 1 over or worse . . . There were six players that failed to break 70 over the four days, including Westwood, Bradley, Jason Dufner, Nick Watney, John Huh and Ernie Els.