PEBBLE BEACH: Brandt Snedeker, who finished second each of the last two weeks, busted through for his first win of the year on Sunday, firing a seven-under 65 to capture the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
The red-hot Snedeker saved his best round of the week for the final day as he finished with a 19-under par 267 total to beat fellow American Chris Kirk by two strokes.
With this win, Snedeker is up to a career-best fourth postion in the world rankings.
Snedeker’s win edges him ahead of Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen, with only Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Luke Donald ahead of him.
“It is kind of crazy,” said Snedeker.”This is a special day. To win at Pebble Beach in such a beautiful place.
“This gives me a ton of confidence going into The Masters and the US Open. And that’s next on my list. I’ve won five times out here now. The most important thing now is to win majors.”
Snedeker’ 267 set a tournament scoring record, bettering the previous mark of 268, which Mark O’Meara established in 1997 and Phil Mickelson tied six years ago.
The 32-year-old Snedeker entered Sunday’s round tied for the lead with James Hahn, who shot a two-under 70 in the fourth round. Hahn finished tied for third with two others at 14-under 272.
Kirk shot a six-under 66 for 17-under 269. Snedeker started quickly on Sunday by rolling in a four-footer for eagle on the second hole to break the overnight tie with Hahn. At one point he led the pro-am event by as much as four shots.
Snedeker finished runner-up to Woods and Mickelson in the past two weeks and placed third in the USPGA Tour’s season-opening event in Hawaii.
“The last two weeks I played great but running into two hall of famers motivated me to go out there knowing that I can play good and handle the lead,” Snedeker said.
This also marked his second win in his last six starts and his fifth career USPGA Tour win after claiming the Farmers Insurance and Tour Championship last year as he earned the US tour’s $10 million playoff title.
He is the first player since 1990 to follow up two straight runner-up finishes with a title.
“You can’t make up a day like this,” Snedeker said. “It seems like over the last three months I have been waking up in a dream world.”
Hahn tied for third with Kevin Stadler (65) and Jimmy Walker (66).
Australian Jason Day shot a final round 67 and ended alone in sixth on 273. Mickelson had four birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey in an even-par round of 72. The defending champ finished tied for 60th at one-under-par 285.
The top 64 in the latest rankings qualify automatically for the first of this season’s WGC golf championships, the World Match Play tournament in Arizona later this month, although Mickelson is expected to reject his spot for the second year running leaving one berth open.