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Snedeker wins Heritage

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Associated Press
April 25, 2011
— The toughest part of Brandt Snedeker’s day was spent in the clubhouse.

Snedeker posted an out-of-nowhere 7-under 64 on Sunday to come from six shots behind to finish in the lead at The Heritage nearly two hours before the round ended.


So Snedeker headed inside to watch, wait and see if he’d get back on the course. He eventually did, beating Luke Donald in a playoff Sunday and denying the Englishman a chance at No. 1.


“It was brutal,” Snedeker said of his time in front of the TV.


“I don’t want them to do bad, but I don’t want them to do great, either.”


In the end, Snedeker had the great finish, surviving against one of the world’s best in a gritty three-hole playoff for his second career PGA Tour win and first since the 2007 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., in his rookie season.


“To win this time, after all the hard work I put in the last three or four years, trying to improve, trying to get better,” he said. “I feel like my game is finally there.”


It certainly was at Harbour Town Golf Links.


Snedeker birdied seven of his first 12 holes to grab the lead just as the final pair of Donald and defending champion Jim Furyk teed off. Then Snedeker closed the final round with a 12-foot birdie putt on the signature, closing lighthouse hole at No. 18.


“It’s a storybook ending really, to be playing Luke in a playoff, to even have a chance to win was exciting to me,” he said.


Donald would’ve risen to the top spot in the world from No. 3 had he won. His countryman, Lee Westwood, moved from No. 2 to No. 1, replacing Martin Kaymer, after winning the Indonesian Masters earlier Sunday.


Donald saved par from difficult spots on the 71st and 72nd holes to force the playoff, then did it again on the second extra hole. But his luck ran out on Harbour Town Golf Links’ closing lighthouse hole, No. 18, when he got a partially buried lie in a front bunker.


Donald blasted out about 15 feet from the flag and his chip for par from just off the green hit the back edge of the cup and bounced away, giving Snedeker the victory.


Snedeker said he was more worried about getting to New Orleans for next week’s event when he woke up Sunday than contending for the title Sunday.


Tommy Gainey finished a stroke back after a 68.


Donald was the steadiest player most of the week at Harbour Town. He had birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to get to 13 under, but dropped back after bogeys on the seventh and 10th holes. He caught Snedeker with a birdie on No. 13, then parred his way in for the playoff.


“It was going to be some big rewards if I won today,” Donald said. “But I’ll try and find the positives from this week and move on.”


At least Donald leaves No. 1 at something, making $615,000 to top the PGA Tour money list.


Snedeker and Donald traded birdies on the first extra hole, the 18th, and pars on the second one, the 17th.


Snedeker hit the green on the last playoff hole and two-putted for par to win $1,026,000.


Gainey, bidding to become the first South Carolina native to win the state’s PGA Tour event, missed a 15-foot birdie putt on his final hole that would’ve put him to the playoff.


Eger-McNulty win in playoff


At Savannah, Ga., the putt to extend the playoff looked like a tap-in to Kenny Perry. Maybe 14 inches. His opponents saw it as somewhat longer. Closer to 3 feet, they said.


Bottom line: Perry missed.


As a result, David Eger and Mark McNulty won the better-ball Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf on the second playoff hole against Perry and Scott Hoch.


Eger and McNulty, who started four shots off the lead in the 54-hole event at The Club at Savannah Harbor, shot 11-under 61 in the final round for 27-under 189. Perry and Hoch shot 64 to get into the playoff.


Eger and McNulty each earned $230,000 for the win.


Westwood regains No. 1


At Jakarta, Indonesia, Lee Westwood won the Indonesian Masters on Sunday and ended up regaining the No. 1 spot in the world when Luke Donald lost a playoff in the PGA Tour event in South Carolina.


Westwood, ranked second behind Martin Kaymer entering the week, won on his 38th birthday.


Asked what he wanted for his birthday, Westwood replied, “Something silver and shiny.”


As he stepped off the 18th green a portion of the gallery sang “Happy Birthday.”


Westwood finished at 19-under 269 in the Asian Tour event at Royale Jakarta. He took a five-stroke lead into the final day after opening with rounds of 68, 66 and 66.


“It was quite a day, really,” Westwood said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy with a five-shot lead. I’m experienced enough to know that patience is the key.


“I hit the ball great, but didn’t hit the putts when it mattered.”


He did hole a tricky birdie putt on No. 11.


“It was probably the hardest putt I had all day. it was 15 feet with 3 feet of break,” he said.


Jaidee shot a 65.



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