By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Brandt Snedeker saved his low round of the week for when he needed it most, closing with a 65 to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Snedeker set the tone for the day when he made a 4-footer for eagle at the second hole to pull out of an overnight tie for the lead with James Hahn. Snedeker never looked back, patiently taking avantage of his opportunities and building as much as a four-stroke advantage before edging Chris Kirk by two strokes.
The victory was Snedeker's second in his last six starts dating back to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola -- where he also won the FedExCup. Snedeker, who leads the current points standings, had finished second each of the previous two weeks and was third in the PGA TOUR's season-opener on Maui.
"Feels great to finish one," said Snedeker, who fell to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines and Phil Mickelson in Phoenix. "The last two weeks, playing great but running into two Hall of Famers really motivated me to go out (and prove) that I can play good and handle the lead.
"I love being in this position and today was a lot of fun."
With the round of 65, Snedeker has now shot in the 60s 16 times in 19 rounds this year. He is a cumulative 82 under for 2013 and has risen to No. 4 in the world.
Kirk, who won the 2011 Viking Classic, closed with a 66 to take sole possession of second at 17 under. The Georgia grad now has two top-5 finishes in four starts this year.
"We've had a lot of tournaments like that on TOUR this year where somebody has really just kind of blitzed the field," Kirk said. "I felt like I played well enough to win a golf tournament, and came up a little bit short. But I'm really happy with my day."
Hahn ended up in a third-place with with Jimmy Walker and Kevin Stadler at 14 under. Hahn is making the most of his rookie campaign on TOUR -- he also tied for fourth at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation where he held a share of the first- and second-round leads.
"This week was the best tournament I've had so far," Hahn said. "But being so close to winning a golf tournament, playing in the final group, it's a little bittersweet.
Stadler shot 65 while Walker, who tied for fourth two weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open, closed with a 66. Hahn finished with a 70.