PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Brandt Snedeker and Toby Wilt have played literally hundreds of rounds of golf together back home in Nashville, Tenn.
Nothing, however, was quite like the 18 holes they shared on Sunday. Not playing in the final group on the final day of AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with dual titles on the line.
Snedeker was trying to win the fifth PGA TOUR event of his career after runner-up finishes each of the last two weeks. And he and the investor, who endowed the scholarship Snedeker attended Vanderbilt on and has become a close friend, were trying to win the pro-am portion of the tournament once known as the Crosby Clambake.
Turns out, the two succeeded on both counts.
Snedeker said Wilt had a calming influence on him as he fired a 65 on the way to a two-stroke win over Chris Kirk. And Wilt nearly gave the two the outright title when he narrowly missed a long putt on the 72nd hole -- instead, they shared the pro-am title with Michael Letzig and John Erickson at 31 under.
"He knew what to say when I was kind of hurting and not playing my best, and he knew what to say when I was playing great and we had a lot of fun talking about everything but what we were doing, and that's what you need out there," Snedeker said. "You need somebody to keep your mind off what's going on and focus when you need to.
"We've played so many rounds of golf together and I kept thinking of how special it would be if we could win this as a team, because I'm sure he had a great time today playing in the last group of a PGA TOUR event watching me. But I want to make sure that we both walked out of here with a trophy, our goal was to walk out with two trophies today and for us to do that was a very special thing."
Jordan Spieth and Dallas Cowboys quarterfinal Tony Romo; Patrick Cantlay and surfer Kelly Slater; Brad Fritsch and signer Huey Lewis were among six teams tied for third, two strokes back.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Michael Letzig doesn't have a lot of job security right now.
He finished 150th on the PGA TOUR money list last year so he ranks well down the totem pole in terms of eligibility for PGA TOUR events. More often than not, he's waiting for one of his peers to withdraw -- as was the case this week at The Greenbrier when he found himself as the second alternate.
Prior to coming to this toney West Virginia mountain retreat, Letzig had only played in eight tournaments -- and cashed just one check. But he's making the most of this opportunity after posting a 66 on Friday morning that left him two strokes off the lead.
Letzig made three birdies in his last six holes of the second round, finishing with a flourish by making an 8-foot putt at the par-3 18th to move to 5 under. He's made 11 birdies in the first 36 holes against four bogeys and one double bogey.
"I just prepare the same every week," Letzig said. "That is all I can really do. I'm just putting pretty good this week. I think the putter saved me. I've had plenty of chances (at birdie), so I'm not putting so much pressure on myself. When I do have chances, I feel like I got to make it. I'm getting plenty of looks at birdies."
Letzig admits that the uncertainty over his schedule can be a mental and physical drain. Finding a competitive rhythm can be a challenge, as well.
"So it's really hard to get used to doing and be comfortable," Letzig said. "This week, I mean, I think I (got in) Sunday night. I kind of knew I had a pretty good chance of getting in. Seems like four or five guys have been withdrawing every week, so I was actually able to prepare for this week like I would do."
Michael Letzig, currently ranked 148th on the money list, just finished birdie-eagle to cap a 64 that gives him a share of the 18-hole lead.
Letzig, without a finish better than a tie for 54th in the Fall Series, has struggled since his fantastic rookie season in 2008, when he banked $1.1 million.
Michael Letzig entered the Wyndham Championship as the FedExCup bubble boy. He ranked No. 125 in the standings, and as such, he knew he had to play well.
Each of the last two years, five players have played their way into the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. So Letzig knew he had to perform this week at Sedgefield – and he has.
The New Mexico grad is 4 under through 10 holes right now and 13 under for the tournament. He’s currently tied for sixth, but that will likely change quickly as the leaders get on the course.
He climbed steadily in the projected FedExCup rankings, though, each of the first three days. So it looks likely that Letzig will be headed to New Jersey for next week’s Barclays. – Helen Ross
The two guys who will be completely overshadowed by Paul Goydos’ 59 today? Michael Letzig and Matt Jones. They each shot 64 and are currently tied for second.
Letzig was bogey-free, while Jones had three bogeys. Jones, however, also have an eagle and eight birdies, shooting a back-nine 31. -- Brian Wacker
Of the players currently projected to miss the cut, Michael Letzig and rookie Michael Sim are the only two who posted scores in the 60s in the first round.
Letzig shot 5-under 67 on Thursday and was just two shots off the lead. But he's 8 over on his round today through 17 holes. Starting his round on the 10th tee, he immediately double bogeyed and things continued to go south for the rest of his first nine with four bogeys.
He's now at 3 over for the tournament, one shot worse than the projected cutline
Sim, who shot 69 in the first round, is 7 over on his round through 13 holes. He also played his first nine holes Friday in 42 and is currently 4 over for the tournament.
The last time Michael Letzig was at a PGA TOUR event, he was tired from playing too many weeks, he had too many swing thoughts in his head and he was in the midst of shooting 83 -- with one triple and four double bogeys -- and would eventually suffer a DQ.
That was at the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Two weeks later, life is much better for Letzig.
Having arrived at Muirfield Village as an alternate and not expecting to get into the field this week, Letzig grabbed a spot when Charles Howell II withdrew on Monday. Letzig made the most of his opportunity Thursday, shooting a first-round 5-under 67 that has him firmly placed near the top of the leaderboard.
"I kind of came here with nothing to lose," Letzig said. "Just very fortunate to be able to play here."
One of the problems for Letzig lately is that he's played everywhere. He went through one six-week stretch making five starts, and he said he was only home for two days during his only week off. Struggling for results this season, Letzig didn't want to take time off.
"I've been playing so bad that I kind of told myself I would continue to play until I played well," said Letzig, who has yet to post a top-20 finish in 13 starts this year. "That's the worst way to do it. ... I don't know what I was thinking. I've gotta learn the hard way. It's so exciting to play here, it's hard to stay home."
As he continued to wear himself down, it all came to a head that Thursday in Dallas. Working on his swing that week, he kept trying to correct things. As he remembers now, "I couldn't take a club back. I was so out of it."
Taking last week off, Letzig finally got some rest. His swing certainly was much better Thursday, as he hit 13 of 18 greens and 9 of 14 fairways. And of his 24 putts, he needed just six in the last five holes.
"I putted very well," Letzig said. "I made three putts over 20 feet."
Andres Romero, looking for his first TOUR win since breaking through in New Orleans two years ago, is the leader at 5 under through 12 holes.
Four players are tied at 4 under: Justin Rose (through 13 holes), Michael Letzig (through 13 holes, K.J. Choi (through 10 holes) and rookie Michael Sim (through 8 holes).
Among the notables on the course: Ernie Els (3 under), Phil Mickelson (2 under), Rory McIlroy (2 under), Vijay Singh (1 under) and Jim Furyk (1 under).
Michael Letzig was disqualified after the first round for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Letzig shot a 13-over 83 on Thursday. His round included one triple bogey, four double bogeys, four bogeys and two birdies