Brandt Snedeker butchers 18 to miss playoff finale

By Doug FergusonSeptember 14, 2009, 5:18 am

BMW Championship 2007 LogoLEMONT, Ill. – John Senden secured the 30th and final spot for the Tour Championship, giving him at least a mathematical chance of the $10 million prize and a spot in three of the majors next year.

How he made it required a bizarre sequence of bad golf.

Senden failed to do his part by closing with a 77 in the BMW Championship, which included a wedge he chunked so badly that it came up 40 yards short of the green, and a bunker shot he practically shanked into a water hazard.

He was saved by a shocking finish from Brandt Snedeker. Needing only two putts from 12 feet on the final hole at Cog Hill to make bogey earn an unlikely spot at East Lake, Snedeker four-putted for triple bogey.

The crucial miss was a 3-foot bogey putt that he tried to jam in the cup, only for it to catch the lip. Stunned by the miss, Snedeker missed the next two from tap-in range.

“I can’t believe I did this,” Snedeker said. “I just made a mess of it.”

Tiger Woods turned the third playoff event for the FedEx Cup into a snoozer, going 62-68 on the weekend for an eight-shot victory that put him atop the standings going into the final tournament of the year.

The drama came from everyone else.

British Open champion Stewart Cink was projected to finish out of the top 30 when he arrived at Cog Hill, and he was 3 over after his opening five holes. That changed with an eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie stretch.

Standing on the sixth green, he noticed his projected position at No. 28.

Event: BMW Championship

“It got in my head a little bit, and I wish I hadn’t seen it,” he said.

No matter. He made pars the next three holes, then finished with a 20-foot birdie to finish at No. 26 and at least get to play at East Lake, which he considers his home course in Atlanta.

“It’s certainly stressful if you’re in with these other guys that are fighting it out,” Cink said. “It needs to be that.”

Other big moves:

  • Luke Donald made a 5-foot par putt on the 18th hole that kept him inside the top 30 (No. 28), a position he secured only when Senden and Snedeker dropped shots behind him.
  • Jerry Kelly made a 10-foot birdie putt on his final hole to grab the 29th position.

After much hang-wringing and computations, only two players moved into the top 30 – Donald and Marc Leishman, replacing Ian Poulter (75) and Charley Hoffman (77). Poulter’s hopes ended when he put his approach in the water at the 18th.

The big surprise was Leishman, a rookie from Australia.

He was on the verge of being eliminated last week until making an eagle on his last hole at TPC Boston to narrowly make the 70-man field at No. 67. Because of a fog delay that led to threesomes in the final round, he wound up in the last group with Woods.

Leishman answered by playing bogey-free for a 69. Now, he’s all the way to No. 16 with a realistic chance at the $10 million prize.

“I’m in the Tour Championship now and the Masters,” Leishman said. “It’s pretty hard to wipe the smile off my face.”

Perhaps the biggest move belonged to Jim Furyk, who knew he was playing for second when he saw Woods building on a seven-shot lead. Only after he shot 66 to tie for second did Furyk realize he moved up 15 spots to No. 3 in the standings.

Only the top five control their fate at East Lake – Woods, Steve Stricker, Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum can win the FedEx Cup with a victory in two weeks. Everyone else will need some help.

Some of them – such as Leishman, Kelly, Cink and Senden – were simply happy to be there.

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.