by Jeff Skinner
Brandt Snedeker wouldn’t let the slow pace, the pro-am, the scenery of Pebble Beach or anything else distract him today as he claimed his fifth PGA Tour title at The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Snedeker got off to a quick start with an eagle on the second and even with his lone bogey of the day at the ninth he finished the front nine with a 32. Combine that with a back nine 33 for a final round 65 and he left little room for any challengers to overtake him.
So far in 2013 he has played 19 rounds and 16 of them have been in the 60’s. Snedeker has been on a good run this season with an opening third place at The Hyundai then a T23 at the Humana. Then he took consecutive seconds behind Tiger Woods at The Farmers and Phil Mickelson at The Waste Management Open. That’s a pretty good run of golf. “Feels great to finish one,” he said. “The last two weeks, playing great but running into two Hall of Famers, really motivated me to go out and prove that I can handle the lead.”
Snedeker moves into fourth place in the Official world Golf Rankings behind Rory McIlroy, Woods and Luke Donald.
Snedeker says until you win a major you are not in the top tier of golfers and winning one is next on his list. We all got to see how emotional Snedeker can be after his painful loss at the 2008 Masters. He broke down in his post round interview and took some heat from for that. But for me that made Sneds easy to like and cheer for. “Finishing off a tournament like this with the lead gives me a ton of confidence going into The Masters, U.S. Open, all the great venues we have this year,” Snedeker said. “That’s next on my list. I’ve won five times out here. The most important thing now is winning majors.”
He’s not an automaton, he’s human. He’s passionate about the game, his family and his foundation. He cares about his friends and fellow players. Today on the eighteenth green as a million thoughts were going through his head we still saw him taking the time to help his amateur partner to line up his putt. “It’s kind of crazy to think what’s happened in the last four months,” he said. “To win at Pebble Beach on a beautiful day playing with a good friend of mine from Nashville, Tenn., you can’t make this stuff up. It’s too perfect.”
Brandt Snedeker is really easy to like. He seems like the kind of guy who would be comfortable on tour or at your local muni playing nine holes after work. And he should be the model for all tour players and amateurs alike: he plays fast, real fast. Sure, his life may have changed with that ten million dollar check at for the FedEx Cup but it sure doesn’t look like it to us.
Now Tiger, Phil and Rory may gather more headlines and pull more faces to the TV but Snedeker is just plain likable. He may not carry himself like a superstar but his game does it for him. It’s still early in the season and like Snedeker said majors separate golfers from the pack. This just may be the year he pulls away.