Brandt Snedeker enjoys £7m double triumph at FedEx
Brandt Snedeker heads to the Ryder Cup in Medinah $11.4m (£7m) richer after his four-shot victory at the Tour Championship in Atlanta last night. As well as the $1.4m he earned for winning the tournament, Snedeker banked the $10m jackpot that came with finishing top of the FedEx Cup play-off rankings.
The American was followed home by Ryder Cup adversaries Justin Rose, who finished second four shots adrift, and Luke Donald, who closed a short further back after a second successive 67. Rose was in contention throughout, until a two shot swing at the 17th went against him. Snedeker chipped in for birdie, Rose bogeyed.
Snedeker demonstrated why he was selected by his Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, missing only one putt inside eight feet all week, a detail which helped him top the putting stats. Snedeker dedicated his victory to a close friend injured in an accident who he visited on the final morning. "I asked him if he thought I could be Rory McIlroy today. 'Hell yeah,' he said. So that kind of put me in a great frame of mind."
The challenge of McIlroy failed to materialise in windy conditions that made scoring difficult for the majority. Starting three off the lead, McIlroy fell out of contention early, covering the opening seven holes in four over par, including a double at the sixth after finding water off the tee. McIlroy steadied thereafter but was unable to claw the drops shots back, carding a 74 to close on one under par.
McIlroy said: "I just said to Justin I wish he had done me a favour." A Rose victory would have given the world No 1 the FedEx title.
"I have to stay positive. It's been a great year and I've had three wins starting at the PGA Championship. I knew if I won this week I won the whole thing, but Brandt knew the same thing and he did what he needed to do. He played fantastic out there.
Donald at least finished with a flourish, firing three birdies over the closing six holes. "I have been really close of late. It is nice to string a couple of good rounds together," he said. "This has been a solid tournament for me. I enjoy the atmosphere on a Sunday. I just need to figure out how to do it on a Thursday and Friday."
Unusually for Lee Westwood, Europe's Ryder Cup front man left the tournament propping up the 30-man field. The embarrassment of finishing last at the Tour Championship was softened by a $300,000 cheque for his 10th spot overall in the FedEx Cup, plus a side bet with Nick Watney, won with an up and down at the last.
"I enjoyed the week. My game's not too far off. I didn't putt well enough here," Westwood said. "Those at the top of the leaderboard all putted well. It was my first time at the FedEx.
"I struggled with the speed of the greens here but overall it was a great experience. You might have seen me grinding up the last few holes. I needed that one at the last to beat Nick, which was nice at the start of Ryder Cup week."
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