Brandt Snedeker wins at Torrey Pines but has to wait out the outcome

There was no chance Brandt Snedeker was going to lounge in a comfy chair in a hotel room Monday and watch the resumed final round of the Farmers Insurance Open unfold.

In a library of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, Snedeker fidgeted and circled the room. His caddie, Scott Vail, tried to get him to play pool. Nope.

"Probably paced a hole in the carpet," Snedeker said, jokingly.

His wife Mandy finally made him go outside, where he received regular updates from Golf Channel commentator Dottie Pepper — on the putting green, on the range, on the putting green again. He never stopped moving.

It was torture, but ultimately worth every nerve-racking minute.

Nearly 23 hours after his last putt fell Sunday, Snedeker was the champion for a second time of the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines. The three-under-par 69 he shot in rain and wind to finish at six-under for the tournament held up when all of the other players near the top of the board completed their rounds.

It turned out that Monday's conditions were nearly as difficult, just different. With the wind having switched direction under blue skies, potential charges were thrown into reverse. Short holes were made difficult.

Jimmy Walker, the on-course leader at seven under when play resumed Monday, had four bogeys in his last eight holes and shot 77. K.J. Choi, tied with Snedeker at six under Sunday night, also couldn't make a birdie, had two bogeys, shot 76 and finished one stroke short.

Choi went to the par-five 18th with a chance to tie, but pushed his approach 45 feet right and above the pin and left his birdie putt three feet to the left of the hole.

On the putting green, Snedeker got the news and thrust both fists in the air and hugged Vail.

"You cannot imagine," Snedeker said, "what was going through my head, just because of the weather conditions and what the forecast was for today. …

"I can't tell you how excited I am to be the champion here again, how unbelievable the last 48 hours have been. I thought I was out of the tournament when I started on Sunday morning. Now to have a chance to be holding the trophy is unbelievable. Everything worked out perfectly for me."

The victory, worth $1.17 million, was the eighth of Snedeker's career.

In his 10th full season on the PGA Tour, Snedeker, 35, has yet to win a major, but this was a major-like test and performance by Snedeker.

Since the tour began keeping detailed statistics in 1983, no fourth round, except for a major, had a higher stroke average than this Farmers at 77.90. Of the 71 players in the weekend field, 23 shot 80 or higher in the final 18 holes. The worst score: 87, by third-round co-leader Scott Brown.

Snedeker's 282 was the tournament's highest winning score since Fuzzy Zoeller's six under in 1979, another year of drastic weather.

"I don't think I've seen a more challenging golf course and challenging conditions outside of a major, and maybe even combined in a major, in my professional career," said Kevin Streelman, who birdied the 18th hole Monday to shoot 74 and finish third at four under.

It makes Snedeker's Sunday effort all the more indelible. With gusts up to 45 mph blowing the rain sideways, he had only one bogey, on the first hole, made eight consecutive pars and birdied three of the next four.

"I drove the ball unbelievable on that back nine," Snedeker said.

When he didn't make a birdie at No. 18, he was visibly angered, even though his 69 dominated the rest of the field. The second-best fourth-round score was 73 by Shane Lowry.

"Played one of the greatest rounds in the history of golf!" tweeted fellow pro Billy Horschel, who scored 76.

"As players will tell you, we love having the respect of our peers," Snedeker said. "We love having guys think that you do stuff the right way; you play great golf; or you win it the right way, and it means something."

Snedeker opened the tournament with a 73 on the South Course and 70 on the North and made the cut on the number at one under. After scoring 70 on Saturday he was six shots off the lead, tied for 27th.

In four of Snedeker's victories, he has come from seven, six, six and five shots down in the final round.

"It says I don't give up. I keep grinding until the last putt goes in, and I take pride in that," he said.

"A lot of guys get down on themselves and say, 'Well, I'm not going to win this week,' and you just never know what is going to happen. … I was in 27th position, [six] back going into the round, and now I'm sitting here as champion. I would have said you're crazy, there's no way, but you just never know."

tod.leonard@sduniontribune.com

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on February 02, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Snedeker plays a waiting game - He wins at Torrey Pines after watching rest of field come up short Monday." — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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