ON THE TEE: Snedeker has great round and needs help
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Brandt Snedeker signed his card, tried to explain how he put together a 3-under 69 in the toughest conditions this side of Britain and then went on Twitter to express one last wish.
“Weather looks perfect to me outside!!”
That’s because he was inside. And he was done. And while he wasn’t in the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open, it looked as though that would only be a matter of time considering wind gusts that consistently topped 40 mph and occasional rain that made it feel even worse Sunday.
Instead, he had to take one of the great rounds of his career and wait until Monday.
Not long after Snedeker posted his 69 — nearly 10 shots better than the average score of the players who finished — for a 6-under 282, the final round was suspended for a third and final time because of unplayable conditions. The trouble was down along the bluffs, the exposed part of the South Course, where it was difficult to stand up, much less swing a golf club or try to putt.
The wind was so strong that it toppled trees, had one gust that hit nearly 55 mph and blew loose windows in the media tent, which had to be evacuated.
Snedeker did his part.
Now he finds out if it was good enough. Jimmy Walker was putting together a fine round of his own, at 1 over for the day through 10 holes, which included three-putt bogeys on two holes. He was at 7 under overall, one shot ahead of Snedeker and K.J. Choi, who is playing in the final group.
It will be the second time in four years the Farmers Insurance Open ends on a Monday. Fog was the culprit in 2012. Tiger Woods was the winner.
THE FORECAST: The feeling when play was suspended Sunday was that Snedeker had lost out on his advantage.
Then again, it wasn’t supposed to be much better Monday morning with wind forecast at nearly 30 mph. That means Walker, Choi and even Kevin Streelman and Freddie Jacobson at 5 under could have their hands full on the South Course.
The outlook is so bleak that tournament officials will close the course to the public and the volunteers. The only volunteers who will be working Monday will be driving the vans used to evacuate the players if necessary. So that doesn’t sound like a pleasant walk along the Pacific.
THE ROUND: Snedeker missed a 15-foot par putt on his opening hole, and he wasn’t alone. It was playing into the cold wind, and some players had to hit fairway metals to try to reach the green. However, that was the last bogey he made.
Amazingly, he went the final 17 holes without dropping a shot. That required a 35-foot par putt on the fourth hole and a 15-foot par putt on the next one. And then when he made the turn, Snedeker ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch that included a 40-foot putt on the 13th hole.
“I couldn’t do it again,” he said. “I don’t know how I did it.”
Chad Campbell played alongside him, shot 79 and didn’t feel he played all that bad even next to Snedeker.
“One of the best rounds I’ve ever seen,” Campbell said. “I don’t think he missed a shot.”
THE TRAIN WRECKS: The good news for Angel Cabrera? He finished. The bad news? He shot an 84.
That was the worst score of the 11 rounds in the 80s, and counting. Brian Harman has only four pars and was 11 over with four holes to play. John Senden took an 8 on the second hole and was 10 over with five holes to play.
Dustin Johnson started the final round only three shots out of the lead. He was out early, when the combination of wind and rain was at its worst. Johnson made nine bogeys in 12 holes, and then he made his first birdie on the 14th hole. He faced a tap-in for bogey on the 15th when play was halted.
THE HISTORY: Snedeker started the final round six shots behind and needed some help — the weather — to have a chance.
He got it.
Four years ago, he won the Farmers Insurance Open by coming from seven shots behind in the final round. He figured he had no chance and was in the media tent giving what amounted to a runner-up speech when he looked at the TV and saw Kyle Stanley making a triple bogey on the last hole. Snedeker won in a playoff.
This time, he’ll need some help from Mother Nature.