By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brandt Snedeker must feel like he's beating his head against the wall.
After all, he's finished second at the last two PGA TOUR events, losing to Tiger Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open in a Monday finish and Phil Mickelson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday.
"I feel like I'm running into the Hall of Famers every week," Snedeker said with a smile. "It would be nice if they weren't in the field and I could go ahead and go after it. It's just tough, you know. ... It was fun to watch, fun to be part of. You want to win those, and hopefully I will soon."
In each case Snedeker made a spirited bid, most recently closing with consecutive rounds of 65 at TPC Scottsdale but falling four strokes shy of Mickekson, who led wire-to-wire and tied the tournament's 72-hole scoring record. In fact, seven of Snedeker's last eight rounds have been in the 60s for a cumulative total of 34 under.
"I had one bad round last week," Snedeker said. "This week I didn't have a bad round. I played great all four days. Phil just played unbelievable, played like Phil."
Each champ was essentially playing on home turf, too -- Woods winning at Torrey Pines for the eighth time in his career and Mickelson for the third time at TPC Scottdale not far from where he went to college and made his home for 12 years.
Snedeker cut Mickelson's lead in half at the turn when he birdied No. 9 for a 31 to pull within three. But he lost ground when his drive at the par-5 13th landed in a cactus plant and he had to take an unplayable lie. Snedeker pulled within three again with a 5-footer at the signature 16th but when both birdied the driveable 17th hole Mickelson's win was all but assured.
"I had a great putt on 10 I thought was going to go in," Snedeker said. "I thought if I had made that putt, you know, I think I would have gotten within two or three at that time, I thought it's a fair ball game. Because a lot can happen with the next few holes.
"Just couldn't seem to get that putt to get within two or one or whatever it was to make him really think about it. He was playing great, so I knew I needed to make birdies. I just didn't do it early in the back nine."
Snedeker now has three finishes of third or better in his first four starts of 2013. In fact, in his eight PGA TOUR starts dating back to The Barclays, which started his run to the FedExCup title, Snedeker has one win and five finishes of sixth or better.
Asked whether he felt he got the recognition he deserved, though, Snedeker admitted he still needed to fill out his resume.
"You have to win majors and win tournaments to be recognized as an elite player," he said. "And I haven't done nearly enough of that, you know. I'm playing great right now. I'm as high as I have ever been in the world ranking and all that kind of stuff, but you have to win tournaments to validate that. I haven't done it.
"I think when you win majors and win multiple times in years, you validate whatever people say about you."