With one last birdie, Brandt Snedeker finally had a chance to catch his breath at one of the best places in golf.
He was on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach, Calif., with a three-shot lead Sunday as he gazed into the sun at an endless ocean and tried to grasp just how far he has come in the past few months.
There was that big win at the Tour Championship to claim the $10 million prize as the FedEx Cup champion. He played in his first Ryder Cup.
In his past nine tournaments, he has six finishes in the top three, including back-to-back weeks as the runner-up to Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
Snedeker wasn’t about to let anyone get in his way at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“Just hard to put into words, to have a stretch of golf like I had the last couple of months,” Snedeker said after his two-shot win. “Something you dream about. Something you think that you can do, but you don’t really know until you actually put it together. And I have.
“I’m really enjoying this, and hopefully can parlay this into the best year of my career.”
He was the best all week at Pebble Beach, finishing at 19-under 267 to break by one shot the tournament record. Mickelson (2007) and Mark O’Meara (1997) each had a 20-under 268.
Snedeker built his lead in the final round by playing the opening seven holes in 5 under, fired at the flag on the par-3 17th to set up his last birdie and closed with a 7-under 65, his 10th consecutive round in the 60s.
A tap-in par on the 18th gave him a two-shot win over Chris Kirk, who stayed in the hunt all day without ever putting too much pressure on Snedeker.
Rocco Mediate birdied the 18th hole and finished with a 1-under par 71 to win the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla.
He finished the tournament at 17-under 199 and became the 16th player to have a winning debut on the Champions Tour.
Mediate’s 4-foot birdie putt came after Tom Pernice Jr. missed a 5-footer at No. 18 that could have forced a playoff.
Mediate started the day with a three-shot lead, lost it by the 14th hole, but regained it when Pernice bogeyed the par-4 17th from a greenside bunker. Mediate protected that lead with a birdie on the par-5 closing hole.
Pernice, who had a final-round 70, finished tied with Bernhard Langer (68) for second place.
Mark O’Meara (69) and defending champion Corey Pavin (69) were both six shots off the lead.
Pullman High School graduate Kirk Triplett finished tied for 13th at 7-under 209.