By Jeff Shain, Orlando Sentinel –
ATLANTA — No Sunday charge necessary for Brandt Snedeker. Better yet, no getting out the FedEx Cup calculators.
Snedeker removed all the mystery by pulling away to a three-shot triumph at the Tour Championship, locking up the $10 million FedEx Cup points title without needing any outside help.
The Nashville native birdied two of his final four holes at East Lake Golf Club to break a tie with Ryan Moore – sealing the outcome with a chip-in at No.17 after his drive caromed off a hospitality tent and a gust of wind knocked down his approach.
“Just unbelievable,” Snedeker said. “I played great. I don’t know where it came from, but I hope it comes out a little more in the future.”
An inconsequential closing bogey completed Snedeker’s 2-under-par 68 — the only man in the final five groups to break par as gusty winds left many golfers shaking their heads.
“Brandt really deserves to win,” said Rory McIlroy, who finished second in the FedEx points table despite winning two of the four FedEx Cup playoff events. A Sunday 74 left him tied for 10th.
“I’m not going to complain,” added McIlroy, who also won last month’s PGA Championship. “It’s been a great year and I’m very happy with how I’m playing still.”
Snedeker entered the week at No.5 in points, the final spot for which a victory would wrap up the FedEx title without any outside help. A Saturday 64 left him tied for first as he entered the final round, and he shrugged off an early double bogey to birdie four of his last 11 holes.
“I knew I just needed to go out and make some birdies,” said Snedeker, who completed four rounds in 10-under 270.
Moore bogeyed his final three holes for a 70 that left him tied for third, a shot behind Justin Rose (71). Moore shared third with Luke Donald, whose 67 produced his third top-3 finish in as many years at East Lake.
Tiger Woods, who began the week second in points behind McIlroy, closed with a 72 that left him eight shots behind Snedeker on the East Lake leaderboard and third in FedEx Cup points.
“I need to hit the ball a little better than I did this week,” Woods said. “I just didn’t have it this weekend. I wasn’t sharp. On this golf course, you have to hit it in the fairway. Otherwise, you don’t know what it’s going to do (from the rough).”