Following the 2012 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake, Brandt Snedeker meets with the media and talks about his fourth victory on the PGA TOUR and first FedExCup.
ATLANTA — Sunday’s final round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the final event in the FedExCup Playoffs, is in the books and Brandt Snedeker won the both the tournament and the FedExCup. Here’s a look at the key developments and notes concerning the FedExCup:
NO. 1: Brandt Snedeker was the first player who entered the week ranked among the top five who controlled their own destiny to take at least a share of the lead into the final round since the points were last revamped in 2009. Snedeker delivered, too, firing a 68 that gave him a three-stroke win at the TOUR Championship, as well as the $10 million bonus.
Rory McIlroy, who started the week ranked first, ended up second after closing with a 74 and finishing in a five-way tie for 10th at 1 under.
HOW TOP FIVE FARED: Any of the top five players in points after the reset could have won the FedExCup by winning the TOUR Championship. Here’s a look at their final rounds.
|Player||Score||Through 72||Position||Quick review|
|Brandt Snedeker||68||10 under||First||Snedeker fought back from a
double bogey at the sixth hole and birdied three holes on the
back nine to pull away from Ryan Moore and Justin Rose. He
won despite playing his first six holes on Thursday in 3
Strokes back: He won the Cup with four shots to spare.
|Rory McIlroy||74||1 under||T10||McIlroy started the day three
strokes off the pace but never got untracked. He shot 39 on
the front and didn’t hit a single fairway – then
found just two on the back nine. The 74 snapped a string of
11 consecutive rounds in the 60s.
Strokes back: He finished 10 strokes behind in his quest to win the Cup.
|Tiger Woods||72||2 under||T8||Woods started the final round
four strokes behind but promptly sealed his fate when he
played his first six holes in 4 over. He shot 1 under on the
back but never threated with his second round over par this
Strokes back: He finished nine strokes back in his battle to win the Cup for the third time.
|Nick Watney||74||13 over||28th||Watney, who won The Barclays to
vault into the top five, was never a factor at East Lake.
Interestingly, he ranked fifth in fairways hit but 28th in
greens in regulation for the week and 22nd in putting. He
only made 2 of 10 sand saves, too.
Strokes back: He finished 24 strokes back as he tried to win the Cup.
|Phil Mickelson||69||1 over||T15||Mickelson hit nine fairways on
Sunday, which was the most of the week. He made the turn in
34, which was his first subpar tally on the front nine, but
stalled on the back with a 35. Still, the 69 matched Thursday
as his low of the week.
Strokes back: He finished 12 strokes behind in his quest to win the Cup for the first time.
BIGGEST MOVERS: Justin Rose, who finished solo second, ended up sixth in the FedExCup, which was a jump of 18 spots and earned him an $800,000 bonus. With his tie for third, Ryan Moore moved up 17 spots in the FedExCup to 11th, which came with a $300,000 bonus. Moore’s previous best FedExCup finish came in 2010 when he made his only other appearance at East Lake and finished 22nd in the season-long competition.
ODDS & ENDS: Justin Rose, who played with Brant Snedeker on Sunday says the pressure was intense with the FedExCup’s $10 million bonus on the line.. “Doesn't get any more pressure, I would say, than this, major championships and today,” Rose said. “It's a different kind of pressure playing for $10 million. I mean, it gets in your head more than other golf tournaments. Other golf tournaments it's more routine. But this week, it's not routine. We talk about it all year long, and suddenly you have to walk the walk, and (Brandt) did a great job of that today.” …
Snedeker said throwing around a number like $10 million is “crazy talk” – like “winning the lottery,” he said. Snedeker, who will become a father for the second time in about a month, said he still drives the same car he did when he turned pro. “Of anybody that I know, I do not need $11 million,” said Snedeker, who also won $1.44 million with his TOUR Championship title. “So there are going to be things we can do to really help people. So that's the way I look at it. This is unbelievable to be financially stable for the rest of my career. As long as I'm not an idiot, I should be fine.” …
Rory McIlroy came to Atlanta on the heels of wins in the last two Playoffs events. When the points were reset prior to the TOUR Championship, he was ranked No. 1 – but four others controlled their own destiny, too. McIlroy didn’t get the job done but he is comfortable with the Playoffs format. “You've got to play well every week,” he said. “I knew if I came in here and won the tournament, that I'd win the whole thing, and that was the goal, and it didn't happen. That was the goal for Brandt as well. He was Top 5 coming in here, and he knew if he won, he'd win the whole thing. He did. He knew what he needed to do, and he did it great.”
In Sunday's final round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Brandt Snedeker holed a 28-foot birdie chip shot on the par-4 17th hole, clinching the tournament and the FedExCup.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- When the FedExCup Playoffs began, Ryan Moore was hardly a shoo-in to make the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
He ranked 64th in the standings, and Moore needed a tie for 10th at the BMW Championship two weeks ago just to sneak into the top 30. Once Moore got to East Lake, though, he made the most of the opportunity -- owning a share of the lead on the back nine Sunday and finishing in a tie for third.
Moore pulled even with Brandt Snedeker at 9 under when he made consecutive birdies at the 14th and 15th holes. Then he began to unravel, making three straight bogeys coming home.
“I was excited to kind of get in the mix, and at least make it a little interesting there for a while,” Moore said. "It just came down to the last three holes. They're tough golf holes, and I didn't hit good shots on them.
“So they'll sneak up on you really quick if you don't put them in the right spots, and unfortunately, that's what got me."
That said, Moore couldn't be too disappointed. He led the field in fairways hit, which was key this week t East Lake -- and for Moore, in particular -- and shot par or better all four rounds on a course that flummoxed some of the game's best.
"I can't launch it high and soft out of the rough," Moore said. "So I have to be in the fairway. … This whole week I viewed it as a bonus. I was 64th going into the FedExCup, and just to even be here was a big accomplishment, let alone to have a top five here at the end of the season.”
Moore feels the key to his late-season surge -- he finished 10th or better in the last three Playoffs events -- was his putter. At the same time. the UNLV grad went back to basics and started trusting himself, rather than obsessing about his game.
"I kind of just embraced a little bit of who I am as a golfer
these last four weeks, and I just played golf," Moore said. "I
wasn't thinking about my swing. ... It's like sometimes
you've just got to go play. … Just play hard this last
month going into the off season, and then you've got a couple of
months to go work on some things and get some stuff straightened
"But it gave me some confidence that I don't need to do that much and I can be right there and in contention. ... Just by playing my own game, playing golf, how Ryan Moore plays golf. That's encouraging and something to build on."
By Elias Sports Bureau
> During his victory at this week’s TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP by Coca-Cola, Brandt Snedeker recorded just two holes over par in the last 36 holes of play. It’s the 11th time in Snedeker’s PGA TOUR career he has played the weekend this well. But it’s the second time in this year’s FedExCup playoffs. During the Deutsche Bank Championship three weeks ago, Snedeker also recorded just two holes over par en route to a sixth-place finish.
> Hunter Mahan posted a strong finish to his PGA TOUR season, carding a 4-under 66 in Sunday's final round at East Lake. For Mahan, it was the 13th round of 4-under par or better on the PGA TOUR this season, but only his second since the start of July.
> Lee Westwood averaged 33 putts per round this week. For Westood, playing in his 161st event on the PGA TOUR, this week's putts per round average marks his highest average for this category in a 72-hole TOUR event. Westwood's previous worst was a 32.50 average during the 2007 Wachovia Championship.
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM correspondent
ATLANTA -- With the wind swirling and the sixth hole measuring 202 yards, the par-3 sixth at East Lake was a brutal test during Sunday's final round. The peninsula green was hard to reach, and nine balls (out of 30 tee shots) found the water. That’s almost a third of the field. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Brandt Snedeker all splashed and made double bogeys.
Fairways: I thought McIlroy was primed to turn in his best performance of the week; instead Sunday was his worst. It’s not hard to determine the cause of his 74 -- McIlroy drove the ball poorly. He hit just two of 14 fairways in the final round. On the plus side, Rory’s birdie to fairway ratio was excellent. McIlroy birdied both the 12 and 15th holes, the only holes in which he found the fairway.
Water level: There was never a chance for anyone to duplicate Bill Haas “water shot” this year. Hass, the 2011 TOUR Championship winner, played a ball from out of the water at the 17th while beating Hunter Mahan in a playoff last year. This season, East Lake’s water level is much higher, lapping up onto the slope to the left of the green. Either a golf ball held up in the long grass or tumbled down the hill into two feet of water.
Family affair: If Justin Rose was feeling disappointed leaving the 18th green, it did not last long. Hiding behind the corner of the grandstand was 3-year-old Leo. Rose’s son plotted the perfect ambush and jumped out in front of his father yelling, “Boo.” Rose immediately swept the boy into his arms and they laughed together all the way to the scoring trailer.
Winner, winner: Brandt Snedeker’s chip-in birdie at the 17th was impressive, and he was clearly the best golfer at East Lake the entire week. He was second in fairways hit (37 of 56); he was seventh in greens in regulation (50 of 72). He found just four bunkers the entire week and was 4 for 4 in sand saves. Snedeker was second in total putts with rounds of 27-29-29-25. Finally, he led the TOUR Championship in strokes-gained putting. Brandt Snedeker dominated the statistics and the leaderboard.
Chicago bound: Players say it’s difficult to take a swing from the driving range to the first tee, let alone predict what will happen the following Friday. Taking that into account, it’s important to recognize that U.S. Ryder Cup players had a very good week at the TOUR Championship.
The Ryder Cup is all about putting and there were four U.S. team members in the top 10 of strokes-gained putting, with Snedeker and Matt Kuchar ranking first and second. Keegan Bradley was fourth in strokes-gained putting while Bubba Watson was ninth. Luke Donald and Justin Rose were the top Europeans, ranking sixth and eighth respectively.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here .
In Sunday's final round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Rory McIlroy hit his 138-yard approach shot to 5 feet and rolled in the birdie putt on the par-4 12th hole.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- By the time he made the turn, Rory McIlroy knew he was essentially playing for second in the FedExCup.
Sure, he had won the last two Playoffs events. But on a day when McIlroy needed to win another to absolutely guarantee himself the $10 million bonus, he went out in 4 over and fell well off the pace.
McIlroy, who had started the final round in a tie for fourth, three shots behind Brandt Snedeker, ended up shooting 74 on Sunday and finishing nine off the pace. He didn't hit a fairway on the front nine and found just two on the back.
"I'm a little disappointed but at the same time, Brandt really deserves to win," McIlroy said. "If you look at his stats the whole way throughout the week, he played the best golf out of anyone. He knew what he needed to do. He needed to come in here and win. He controlled his own destiny just like I did, and he was able to come and do that. So because of that, he really deserves it."
McIlroy, who was competing in the FexExCup Playoffs for the first time in his career, said his mindset changed when he missed a 7-footer for birdie at the par-5 ninth hole. He played marginally better on the back nine, shooting even par with two birdies and two bogeys, but the damage had been done.
"Most of the back nine I was just trying to consolidate second
place, if I'm honest," the 23-year-old said. "I was still trying to
play well and trying to make a few birdies, but I didn't want to
try to force the issue and drop anymore spots. So I just tried to
hang on to that second position.
"I didn't even know on the last whether I needed that putt or not to stay in second place, but I holed it anyway, which was nice."
The round of 74 snapped a string of 11 consecutive rounds in the 60s for McIlroy, who has had a stellar summer. He won the PGA Championship by eight strokes, then captured the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship in consecutive weeks to bring his total for the year to four wins.
Even with an off week, though, sustaining that level of performance over the four weeks of the Playoffs isn’t easy.
"But I think that is the beauty of these Playoffs," McIlroy said. "You've got to treat it like a four- or five-week tournament. … But it's great. I think it adds excitement to the end of the year.”
Brandt Snedeker closes out a final-round 68 to win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup title on Sunday afternoon at East Lake.
ATLANTA – For three years, Brandt Snedeker has had to live with the disappointment of a four-putt in the FedExCup Playoffs that cost him a chance to play in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
He now has much better memories of the Playoffs. He’s the new FedExCup champion.
Snedeker got hot down the stretch to pull away from the field and win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, shooting a 2-under 68 to finish at 10 under, three strokes ahead of Justin Rose. Since Snedeker was also in the top five in points coming into East Lake, the win also guaranteed him the FedExCup, now in its sixth year of existence.
Snedeker also claims the $10 million bonus - the richest prize in golf -- that comes with the FedExCup title, as well as the $1.4 million check that goes to the winner of the TOUR Championship.
“At the end of the day, I had complete confidence of what I was doing out here,” Snedeker said.
Rory McIlroy finished second in the final FedExCup standings, with Tiger Woods third, Nick Watney fourth and Phil Mickelson fifth. Rose climbed to sixth thanks to his second-place finish at East Lake.
In 2009, Snedeker four-putted the final green for a triple bogey at the BMW Championship, closing out a 76 that left him 33rd in the FedExCup standings and eliminated from the top 30 who qualify for the TOUR Championship.
Snedeker is the first player ranked within the top five in FedExCup points entering the TOUR Championship to win at East Lake since the points system was reworked for the 2009 season. The top five control their own destiny at the TOUR Championship; Snedeker was No. 5 points, thanks mostly to a second-place finish at The Barclays and a tie for sixth at the BMW Championship..
Snedeker began the FedExCup Playoffs ranked No. 19 after a solid 2012 regular season, which included a playoff victory over Kyle Stanley at the Farmers Insurance Open. There, Snedeker made up a seven-shot deficit.
Sunday's win is Snedeker's fourth of his PGA TOUR career -- and his first when entering the final round with at least a share of the lead. His three previous wins have been fashioned with final-round comebacks.
“I don’t know where it came from,” Snedeker said. “I’ll try to rekindle it more often in the future.”
Other than a double bogey at the par-3 sixth when he found the water with his tee shot, Snedeker was nearly as flawless on Sunday as he was the day before in shooting a 64 that gave him a share of the 54-hole lead with Justin Rose.
He had two birdies on the front side to balance out the double, then he took command of the tournament in the last six holes, making birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th holes -- the latter when he chipped in from the fringe.
That gave him a four-shot lead over Rose going into the final hole. Snedeker's tee shot sailed into the grandstands behind the 18th green and landed in a chair, to which he received free relief. He finished with a meaningless bogey.
McIlroy -- winner of the previous two Playoffs events -- entered the final round three shots off the lead and Woods started four shots off the pace. Those two came into the week as the top two in FedExCup points and still had legitimate opportunities to win the FedExCup by playing well on Sunday.
A four-hole stretch on McIlroy's front nine sent him spiraling away from the leaders. A poor tee shot at the fourth set up a bogey, He then found the water with his tee shot at the par-3 sixth and ended with double bogey. He followed with another bogey at the seventh. He finished with a 4-over 74 to tie for 10th, hitting just three fairways
“Not very good from the tee,” McIlroy said when asked to assess his day. “You need to hit fairways out here and I didn’t. That’s the story of the day.”
McIlroy said he would leave the Playoffs with positive feelings instead of dwelling on not being able to secure the FedExCup. “It’s the nature of the Playoffs,” McIlroy said. “You’ve got to earn that trophy.”
Woods also put himself in a big hole early, with bogeys at the first and fifth holes and then a double bogey at the sixth. He steadied himself after that, but the damage had been done, as he finished with a 2-over 72 that left him in eighth place.
In Sunday's final round of the 2012 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Tiger Woods hit his tee shot to a foot on the 232 yard, par-3 18th hole and tapped in for birdie.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Tiger Woods was nothing if not candid Sunday afternoon when asked to assess his performance at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
"I just didn't have it this weekend," he said. "I wasn't sharp."
The tournament had started with such promise, though, as Woods opened with a 66 that gave him a share of the first-round lead. But he went backwards on Friday and never got untracked over the final two rounds on the way to a tie for eighth at 2 under.
Woods had hoped for much better, though. He came to Atlanta ranked second in the FedExCup and was assured of winning the $10 million bonus for the third time in his career had he picked up what would have been his third win at East Lake.
A dismal start on Sunday that saw Woods play his first six holes in 4 over all but negated those chances. He only hit five fairways and nine greens in regulation while shooting a 72.
"If I hit the ball the way I did on the weekend, it wasn't very good," Woods said. "So I fought very hard just to shoot what I shot on the last couple of days. I shot under par, but, obviously, not enough."
That said, Woods was pleased with his putting this week. He had 28 on Sunday for 115 total which left him tied for fourth among the field. He was tied for first in terms of the overall distance of the putts he made but ranked 20th in strokes gained putting.
"More than anything, I think this week my short game was really dialed in this week," Woods said. "I chipped and putted really well. I need to hit the ball a little better than I hit it certainly this weekend. Hit it great the first day, but after that it wasn't very good, especially on the weekend. Just fought hard to get where I was at."
All in all, Woods looked for the positives Sunday. After injuries and swing changes, he missed the last two TOUR Championships but came into this one as a three-time winner in control of his own destiny after top-four finishes in the last two Playoffs events.
"Considering where I was at last year, it's nice to be where I'm at now," Woods said. "I was obviously struggling with my health last year, and this year I was able to turn it around and I played some pretty good golf this year which was good."