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Snedeker’s stock is soaring

February 12th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Brandt Snedeker’s stock is soaring.

He won $10 million for capturing last season’s FedExCup and nearly $15 mil in all. This season he’s won over $2.8 million, and his early season resume includes a third, two seconds, and a W at last weekend’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. In short, in the last five months Snedeker has secured his finances for life.

That done, he can now play for history, just like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and others who have made a fortune are able to. And make no mistake about it, Snedeker hungers for major titles. After winning at Pebble Beach, he said, “Until you win majors, you are in the second tier.” So, even though he has ascended to fourth in the World Golf Rankings, he is well aware of the barrier between him and Rory McIlroy (#1) and Tiger Woods (#2), who have won multiple majors.

Snedeker has the game to win majors. His ball striking is much improved this season as he ranks 6th in GIR, and he has long been known as one of the game’s best putters. Snedeker has contended in a couple of majors, but was undone by poor closing rounds. The first, a 77 at the 2008 Masters, literally brought him to tears. The second came at last year’s British Open in which he lead after 36 holes before closing with rounds of 73-74 to finish four back of Ernie Els.

Snedeker’s Top 10s in the Majors
2008 Masters – 3t – 4 back of Trevor Immelman after closing with a 77
2008 U.S. Open – 9t – 5 back of Woods
2010 U.S. Open – 8t – 5 back of Graeme McDowell
2012 British Open – 3t – 4 back of Ernie Els after closing with a 74

At Pebble Beach, Snedeker breezed home with a 65 which included a bogey free 33 on the difficult back nine to win by two shots over Chris Kirk. His rapid and casual appearing approach to the game would seem well suited to winning regular tour events, the kind that are now within his comfort zone. But will his hit-them-fast style work in the majors, or will he succumb to the pressure and remain one those excellent PGA Tour winner type players who cannot make that final step to the top?

We have so many compelling story lines unfolding in 2013 – Can Rory adapt to his new equipment in time to win more majors? Will Tiger finally bag #15? Is Phil’s driving for real? And, can Brandt Snedeker bust through to the game’s highest level.

I have never been a Snedeker fan, but lately I have discovered that there is much to like about him. He is an advocate for fast play, he hates anchoring (he wants to see if a golfer’s nerves will twitch on pressure putts), he seems likeable enough, he recognizes the historical significance of the majors (he is not all about the money), and best of all, he is a solid family guy who lives in Nashville, his hometown, with his wife and two children.

Snedeker, 32, has the game, the experience, and the momentum. So, it will be no surprise if his name appears on the leaderboard this season on those four Sunday’s when history is made.

Tags: PGA Tour

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 BD // Feb 12, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Winning a major is a big deal, but mainly so because it gets the monkey of the back of a player who is already considered good enough that he SHOULD be winning majors (e.g., Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald). A lot guys have won majors who nobody really thought were among golf’s most elite players, and for whom adding a major title to their resumes didn’t do much in the long run to change that perception.

    To really be remembered as the one of the best players of his generation, a player has to do much more than just win a major. Over the course of a career, it takes a combination of winning a bunch of events, playing in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, consistently getting near the top of the WGR and the Money List. The key is being one of the best players for a long time: 10 years, at least. It’s not just about the majors, let alone just one major.

    Snedeker is potentially on his way to such a career, but I’d say he’s got a long way to go. He has 5 PGA TOUR wins. He has some impressive finishes in majors, but he’s has yet to even make the cut in all 4 majors in a season. A major would be great for him, but mainly he needs sustain his current high level of play over a much longer stretch.

  • 2 Phil // Feb 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    BD – There are over 60 players in the Modern Era (1958 on) who have won only one major, and who are now largely forgotten. Fred Couples, Tom Kite, Tom Weiskopf, and Lanny Wadkins are some notable exceptions. Winning two majors (and certainly 3+) cements most player’s position in history and is a ticket for most of them to the HOF. Snedeker does have most of his journey to possible greatness ahead of him, but he has at least completed the launching pad.

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