Brandt Snedeker cemented his status as a rising star on the PGA Tour in the best way possible.
Snedeker made a statement in winning the Tour Championship on Sunday to clinch the 2012 FedEx Cup. His triumph is not simply the exclamation point on a solid PGA Tour season. It also offers a glimpse into what the 31 year-old Tennessee native can become if he continues to reach his potential.
One advantage Snedeker has above most other golfers is his putting. He is one of the best putters in the world. What it means is that when his opponents take themselves out of the mix with their short game, Snedeker will be putting himself in contention with it.
He rode the wave of momentum to climb from fifth place in the FedEx Cup standings to win it all in Atlanta. Snedeker relied on three birdies on the back nine to finish 2-under 68 in the final round at the Tour Championship. He earned a convincing three shot victory over Justin Rose, finishing 10-under 270 for the tournament, and claimed the $10 million prize that goes to the FedEx Cup winner.
FedEx Cup favorites Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both faded on the final day and were outperformed by Snedeker when it counted. McIlroy bungled four straight holes on the front nine to take himself out of contention and finished with a 4-over 74. Woods was three shots over par for the round before he made his first birdie on the ninth hole. He finished with a 2-over 72.
Snedeker had already strung together plenty of impressive performances earlier this season before winning the FedEx Cup for his fourth career PGA Tour title. He tied for third at the British Open - matching his highest finish at a major which came at the 2008 Masters. He also won the Farmers Insurance Open when he prevailed over Kyle Stanley in a playoff.
Snedeker will have a chance to add another page to a memorable season at the Ryder Cup. Davis Love III selected Snedeker to the U.S. team and it will mark his first time competing in the prestigious tournament. Love looks like a genius for selecting Snedeker after seeing his play over the final 36 holes at the Tour Championship. He is now ranked in the top 10 in the world and looks to be a major asset for the American team.
It is always intriguing to see which younger golfers will rise up to become stars on the PGA Tour. Snedeker has always shown promise of doing something special ever since he won the 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Now it appears his potential is starting to be realized.
John Coon enjoys getting in a round from time to time in the Salt Lake City area when he is not covering golf as a freelance sports reporter.
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