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After two straight second place finishes, Brandt Snedeker of the USA went one better at Pebble Beach, taking victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by two strokes from Chris Kirk.
Snedeker has been on an incredible run of form over the past few months. He won last season's Tour Championship and the $10 million first prize in the FedEx Cup, he has recorded six top-three finishes in his last nine PGA Tour starts and has climbed to fourth place on the Official World Golf Ranking.
"It's just hard to put into words, to have a stretch of golf like I had the last couple of months," he said. "Something you dream about. Something you think that you can do, but you don't really know until you actually put it together. And I have. I'm really enjoying this, and hopefully can parlay this into the best year of my career."
Having finished runner-up to Tiger Woods and then Phil Mickelson in his last two starts, Snedeker wasn't going to let this one get away. He started the final round at Pebble Beach tied for the lead with James Hahn, but the 32-year-old put his pedal to the metal early in the round, with an eagle and three birdies in his first seven holes.
Hahn never got a look-in and eventually had to settle for a share of third place with Kevin Stadler and Jimmy Walker.
"He's obviously one of the best, if not the best golfer right now," Hahn said graciously after the round. "He deserved to win today."
In the end it was Chris Kirk who came closest to challenging Snedeker at the top of the pile. But he never got within a stroke of the Ryder Cup player. He had a putt on the 16th to reduce the deficit to one, but it narrowly missed and Snedeker enjoyed a comfortable cushion over the closing holes.
When Patrick Reed holed a birdie putt on the final green, it lifted him into a tie for seventh. On the face of it, that seemed fairly inconsequential, but it had a major repercussion for one of the men whose score he matched.
Reed's birdie prevented Sweden's Freddie Jacobson qualifying for the WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship by 0.0002 World Ranking points. Shane Lowry of Ireland took the final place instead.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California Feb 7 - 10, purse $6,500,000 par 72
1 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 66 68 68 65 267 $1,170,000 2 Chris Kirk (USA) 71 68 64 66 269 $702,000 T3 James Hahn (USA) 71 65 66 70 272 $338,000 T3 Kevin Stadler (USA) 69 69 69 65 272 $338,000 T3 Jimmy Walker (USA) 68 71 67 66 272 $338,000 6 Jason Day (Aus) 68 68 70 67 273 $234,000 T7 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 71 66 70 67 274 $209,625 T7 Patrick Reed (USA) 68 69 67 70 274 $209,625 T9 Patrick Cantlay (USA) 66 70 72 67 275 $175,500 T9 James Driscoll (USA) 72 67 67 69 275 $175,500 T9 Retief Goosen (RSA) 71 68 67 69 275 $175,500
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
Where next? European Tour - Richard Sterne wins Joburg Open
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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