Brandt Snedeker won golf’s FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus after capturing the season-ending Tour Championship yesterday as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods failed to challenge for either title.
It’s Snedeker’s fourth career victory on the U.S. PGA Tour and second this year following his win at January’s Farmers Insurance Open.
“I’m very rarely speechless, but this is about as close as I get to speechless,” Snedeker told reporters. “It solidifies what I already know. When I play my best golf, my best golf is some of the best in the world.”
A 31-year-old American, Snedeker entered the final round tied for the lead with England’s Justin Rose at 8-under par and carded a 2-under 68 for a three-shot victory over Rose, who shot 1-over 71. Luke Donald and Ryan Moore tied for third at 6 under.
Snedeker had a bogey on the par-3 final hole after his tee shot landed in a spectator area left of the green. He had opened a four-shot lead on the previous hole when he chipped in for birdie from in front of the green.
It wasn’t until then that the Nashville, Tennessee, native said he finally allowed himself to think about the bonus check.
“I was so worried about trying to beat Justin to win the Tour Championship today,” he said. “I was not thinking about the $10 million at all until the last hole, and I hit an awful shot. So that shows you what that does for you.”
In addition to the bonus, Snedeker won $1.4 million for the Tour Championship title.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable thing to go through this process of being financially secure for a long period of time,” he said. “As long as I’m not an idiot, I should be fine. I’m not by any means a flashy guy. Of anybody that I know, I do not need $11 million. I really think we can make a difference and help a lot of people out.”
Woods finished eighth in the event and third in the FedEx Cup standings after a final-round 2-over-par 72. Woods came into the tournament behind leader McIlroy in the standings and would have captured his third FedEx Cup title with a win. He finished the year with three victories, his most since capturing seven events in 2009.
“Considering where I was at last year, it’s nice to be where I’m at right now,” Woods told reporters. “I was struggling with my health last year. This year I was able to turn it around and play some pretty good golf.”
McIlroy, a 23-year-old Northern Irishman who had won three of his past four events including the PGA Championship, finished 10th in the Tour Championship after a final-round 74. McIlroy hit two of 14 fairways with his tee shots yesterday and finished second in the FedEx Cup standings.
“I’m a little disappointed,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to. I just wanted to come in here and win the tournament. If I had hit more fairways, it might have been a different story.”
Snedeker, McIlroy, Woods, Nick Watney or Phil Mickelson would have claimed the FedEx Cup bonus with a win yesterday.
Snedeker was fifth in the standings coming into the Tour Championship after finishing second at the Barclays tournament - - the first of four playoff events -- and sixth at the following week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
He joins Woods (2007, 2009) Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010) and Bill Haas (2011) as winners of the FedEx Cup.