Now two-time Wyndham Champion Brandt Snedeker wasted no time earning his ninth career win
Brandt Snedeker walks fast, talks fast, and plays fast. And at last year’s Wyndham Championship, he harnessed all that speed into the ultimate quick start, shooting 59 in the first round at Sedgefield Country Club on his way to a rapid finish on Sunday and his ninth PGA Tour victory.
Only 10 sub-60 rounds have been recorded on the PGA Tour since Al Geiberger posted the first 59 in 1977 at the Memphis Classic. Along with Geiberger, only David Duval (1999 CareerBuilder Challenge), Stuart Appleby (2010 A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier) and Justin Thomas (2017 Sony Open in Hawaii) were previously able to shoot 59s and goon to win that week.
“It’s been a really emotional and stressful week, to say the least, to start the way I did at a tournament that means so much to me,” said Snedeker, who has been a brand ambassador fo Wyndham since he won the Wyndham in 2007. “To have your first Tour win, you ask anybody out here on Tour, it’s always special to him.
“It just means the world tome that I was able to do it here in Greensboro with Wyndham Worldwide being the sponsor.”
The 38-year-old Snedeker has put together a well-regarded career on Tour. He turned pro in 2004 after finishing 41st at the Masters as an amateur. His invitation to Augusta National came as the result of his victory at the 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links, a tournament that doesn’t exist any longer.
Snedeker played three years on the Web.com Tour, graduating to the big Tour in 2007 after finishing ninth on the Web.com Tour money list with two victories and a runner-up. He was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2007 after winning the Wyndham and earning a trip to the Tour Championship.
Since then, Snedeker has risen steadily in the professional ranks. In 2008, he finished tied for third in his first Masters since turning pro. He was tied for the lead on Sunday after an eagle on the par-5 3rd hole but wound up shooting 77.
His second Tour win came at the 2011 Heritage at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. The following year was his best on Tour. Snedeker beat Kyle Stanley on the second playoff hole to win the Farmers Insurance Open. Later that summer, he finished tied for third at the Open Championship.
At season’s end, he won the Tour Championship at East Lake by three shots over Justin Rose and in the process, won the $10 million prize for capturing the season-long points race for the FedEx Cup. He won his fifth Tour title in 2013 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and won it again in 2015. He won his second Farmers Insurance Open title in 2016.
Prior to his 2018 Wyndham victory, Snedeker had spent much of the previous two seasons with injuries.
“To be injured, to be away from the game for five and a half months, to not know what the recovery was going to look like, to not know if you’re going to be 100 percent again and still dealing with it to this day,” Snedeker said in Greensboro last August.
“I guess it’s a fact of life as you get older out here, you’re going to have to deal with certain nagging injuries all the time. It’s always in the back of my mind. It’s been a tough year, year and a half, two years for me, to be honest with you. When you don’t have your health out here and you’re trying to fight through it, it’s really tough because you know what you’re capable of and your body’s not letting you do what you think you should be able to do.”
The 2018 Wyndham started with the milestone 59 that ended with a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole at Sedgefield, which was his last hole of the day. Snedeker’s previous low score on Tour was a 61 at the Buick Invitational in his rookie year.
Winning the 2018 Wyndham was the culmination of enough physical healing combined with the difficult work of coming back from serious injury. But in the end, winning with his children in the gallery – Lily, who was 7 at the time, and 6-year-old Austin – made the victory even more special.
“It’s great to have my kids being here when they are old enough to understand what it means, what Daddy does for a living,” he said. “They’ve been telling me for two years they want to see a trophy, they want to hold a trophy and I’ve been failing them for two years.
“It’s a great teaching lesson for them. They’ve seen how hard I’ve worked. They’ve seen the amount of time I’ve spent away from them trying to get to this point, so it’s good for them to see, hey, it works, pays off. If you keep your head on straight and do stuff the right way and keep working your tail off, you do get rewarded.”