The Northern Trust: Brandt Snedeker lands two eagles in 3 holes to surge into contention

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Trust: Brandt Snedeker lands two eagles in 3 holes to surge into contention

PGA Tour

The Northern Trust: Brandt Snedeker lands two eagles in 3 holes to surge into contention

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JERSEY CITY — Brandt Snedeker isn’t a bomber of the golf ball. He doesn’t make eagles often, in fact, he had only four all season heading into the third round of The Northern Trust.

So on Saturday, when Snedeker poured in two eagles in three holes, only one thought went through his mind.

“You do that,” Snedeker said. “Especially me, I’m not making two eagles in a round very often, you better go out and post a low one.”

Snedeker did just that, shooting an 8-under 64 to get to 12-under par which tied him for the lead early in the third round. And with the wind blowing hard in the afternoon, and the leaders unlikely to go low, Snedeker was almost certain to have a real shot of winning on Sunday.

So how rare were those two eagles for Snedeker in the first round? It was the first time it’s happened all season, and only the fourth time he’s done it in 1,125 career rounds.

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And the eagle binge couldn’t have come at a better time, with a ton of FedEx Cup playoff points on the line.

 Snedeker hasn’t advanced to the Tour Championship since 2016. Snedeker started the week in 33rd place in the standings, and could almost lock up a spot in the Tour Championship with a strong performance this week — the top 30 after next week’s BMW Championship advance.

“I think with the new format, obviously being as close as you can to the leader going in is going to be a huge deal more so than years past,” Snedeker said. “ I think everybody is trying to make as many points as they can and get as high as they possibly can.”

Those who are highest in the standings will get a head start in strokes at the PGA Championship.

Snedeker helped himself with the eagles at the sixth and eighth holes — including a laser of a 3-wood from 280 yards that finished three feet from the hole at No. 8. To recap, Snedeker had four eagles the first 24 events he played this season, and then added two more in three holes.

“Just the way the golf course played,” Snedeker said. “The way the wind [was] blowing, you’re able to get to those two par 5s relatively easily and I just took advantage of it. It will be  hard for these guys this afternoon because the wind is going to pick up a little bit.”

Snedeker knows he has to keep it going on Sunday, and that won’t be easy considering most the players at the top of the leaderboard hit it longer than him. But Snedeker knows that if his short game remains sharp and his long irons dialed, he’ll have a chance to get Back to the Tour Championship and East Lake, where he won the FedEx Cup in 2012.

“For me, [having] been outside of East Lake the last few years,” Snedeker said. “My main goal is to get into East Lake to make sure I have a chance and build on that [Sunday].”

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