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Snedeker sweeps Tour Championship, FedEx titles

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Brandt Snedeker understood the simplest way to bypass all of the confusing projections and permutations in the FedEx Cup: win the Tour Championship, then take home the entire $11.44 million haul.

One of the PGA Tour’s best putters, Snedeker holed several crucial putts during a taut final round Sunday at East Lake to win by three strokes and capture the most lucrative prize in golf. He closed with 68 and finished at 10-under 270.

“At the end of the day,” Snedeker said, “I had complete confidence in what I was doing out there.”

Further down the leaderboard was Rory McIlroy, who won two consecutive playoff events but still wasn’t assured of winning the FedEx Cup. After entering the final round three shots back, the Northern Irishman did himself no favors Sunday, failing to record a birdie on the front side to drop off the pace and effectively end his chances. His stunning, final-round 74 snapped a streak of 11 consecutive rounds in the 60s and sullied what otherwise was a brilliant postseason performance.

Tiger Woods finished off an uneven week at East Lake with a Sunday 72, dropping to T-8. He finished third in the FedEx Cup.

The Tour Championship was Snedeker’s fourth career PGA Tour victory, and second this season (Torrey Pines). But this was by far his most significant.

The fast-talker from Tennessee has always been more comfortable – and more successful – when coming from behind; his previous three victories came when he trailed by at least five shots entering the final round, and he had never won when playing in the final group.

What’s more, his victory at East Lake, however, helped justify Davis Love III’s decision to name Snedeker as one of four wild-card picks for the Ryder Cup team.

On Sunday, as the other contenders faltered down the stretch, Snedeker birdied Nos. 13 and 15, then chipped in for another birdie on the 17th to head to the par-3 finishing hole with a comfortable advantage.

Justin Rose, who shared the 54-hole lead, shot 71 Sunday and finished solo second.