PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. —
“Brandt, great performance. Wish I had your putting stroke again,” Tom Watson tweeted Sunday night.
In his rookie season on tour, Snedeker was 10-under par through 10 holes on the North Course at Torrey Pines when he had to settle for a 61. He wound up third that week behind Woods. Late last year, he missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills for a 59.
No one had finished second to Woods and Mickelson in consecutive weeks. Dating to 1990, no one had finished second in back-to-back weeks and won the next tournament. Even more impressive about the way Snedeker won Pebble Beach is that he knew he would have to score on the opening seven holes, and he did just that. Snedeker hit a 4-iron to 4 feet for eagle on the par-5 second and drilled a 3-wood over the massive hill on the par-5 sixth to 20 feet for a two-putt birdie.
He made only five bogeys all week, and four times made birdie on the next hole.
His big run began after he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, and then sorted out an issue with his driver. Since then, Snedeker has broken par in 33 out of 37 rounds. His 7-under 65 on Sunday was his 10th straight round in the 60s — that includes a 68 in the cold and rain at Spyglass Hill, and two rounds on the South Course at Torrey Pines.
In the last two years, only three players have won at least four times on the PGA Tour — Rory McIlroy with five, Snedeker and Woods with four.
Validation comes from winning.
Snedeker now is No. 4 in the world, and he said he would like to be known as the best American golfer. He believes he can be No. 1, no small task with McIlroy at the top and Woods getting closer than ever to a return to his full form.