If you keep knocking on the door, sooner or later someone is going to answer.
Welcome back to the winners circle, Brandt Snedeker. The hottest player in golf just got burning hot. Snedeker won his fifth PGA Tour title at Pebble Beach this weekend after a remarkable run of consistent golf.
After opening the season with a third place finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, the affable Snedeker recorded back to back runner-up finishes to Tiger Woods in San Diego and Phil Mickelson in Phoenix. By winning the AT&T at fabled Pebble Beach he is the first player in history to finish second in consecutive weeks and winning in the third. Pretty heady stuff for a player that only two years ago might have been considered a ‘journeyman’ (see golf parlance for good player, but never great).
Snedeker won by two strokes and shot a tournament record, 19 under par for the event. He began the day tied for the lead with James Hahn but immediately seized control of the event by making an eagle-3 on the second hole before reeling off 3 more birdies on holes 4, 6 and 7 that gave him a commanding 4 shot lead which he would never relinquish. Or look like relinquishing.
And the never look like relinquishing thing is perhaps now what will allow the 32 year old Nashville native to take his place in the pantheon of the worlds’ top players. Snedeker has a compact swing in which few things can go wrong. His game is based upon consistency as opposed to being a bomber (a la Bubba Watson) coupled with being perhaps the best putter on the PGA Tour.
His closing round 65 was the 16th time in his last 17 starts on Tour that he has shot in the 60’s and has vaulted Snedeker to fourth in the World Ranking points. His goal is to now win Majors. A goal that he will very likely accomplish in the coming years.
Meanwhile on the Champions Tour, perennial fan favorite and everybody’s favorite ‘everyday guy’, Rocco Mediate won in his over 50 debut. He became the 14th player to accomplish that joining the ranks of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gray Player who all won in their initial starts on the Champions Tour.
Mediate shot a course record 61 in the second round to give him a 3 shot overnight lead, which he hung on to despite the challenges from Bernhard Langer and Tom Pernice. Mediate won 6 times in his PGA Tour career, but is best remembered for his runner up finish to Tiger Woods in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. “This means as much to me as anything I’ve done” Mediate said.
One weekend. Two nice guys and the promise of a great much more success for a pair of the games’ best people.