On the strength of a third, two runners-up and now an impressive victory at Pebble Beach, Brandt Snedeker ascended to a career-best fourth in the world rankings on Monday. His 117.02 world-ranking points gained this season are more than double any other player.
But a more compelling race was found further down the list.
Sunday was the final day to qualify for the WGC-Accenture Match Play, which begins Feb. 20. The top 65 in the world after the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Joburg Open, won by Richard Sterne, would earn a spot in the field for the first World Golf Championships event of the season. (Phil Mickelson already announced that he is skipping the event.)
Though the 64-man Match Play field is set, barring withdrawals, the seeds for the Feb. 20-24 will not be finalized until after this week’s Northern Trust Open.
In the end, Irishman Shane Lowry hung on to the final spot – and only after a seemingly random final-hole birdie by Patrick Reed on Sunday. Reed’s 11-foot birdie put him in a tie for seventh with Fredrik Jacobson at Pebble Beach; Jacobson needed to finish solo seventh to move into the top 65. Instead, he missed out by .0002 points.
Sterne, who won wire-to-wire in South Africa, moved from 94th to 55th in the world.