Tennessean Brandt Snedeker holds both the 2012 PGA TOUR Championship trophy, along with the 2012 FedExCup, after he held off the world's best golfers the past four days at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Snedeker's personal triumph comes just a week before he represents the US in the Ryder Cup at Medinah in Chicago. Snedeker made 61 out of 62 putts inside 10 feet for the week, demonstrating once again he's got one of the PGA Tour's hottest putters.
Well, it was a wild and wooly weekend at the PGA TOUR Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, Georgia, and also the culmination of the 2012 US PGA golf season with the awarding of the FedExCup.
In the end, it was Brandt Snedeker's opportunity to seize the moment, and seize it he did.
Starting with Jim Furyk's 17th hole meltdown on Saturday with a drive into the water left, the field slowly but surely began to peel away like an onion, leaving Snedeker on the victor's podium with his amazingly consistent putting stroke and nearly as consistent driving accuracy. (By way of proof, Snedeker made 61 out of 62 putts from inside 10 feet!)
The long hitters ended up being eaten away by East Lake, with players like Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, and even to some degree Tiger Woods unable to match the needed pinpoint accuracy to stay on East Lake's tight fairways and greens.
Snedeker also demonstrated an emotional maturity beyond his years, playing the last round like it was just another day on the links, and his double-bogey at six that included a watery tee shot?... Well, that was just a minor setback. (As he would later learn, both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy also found their way to agua on number six in the final round.)
By the time he reached 17, Snedeker's confidence seemed quite assured, and the chip-in from the off the green just solidified that confidence.
Even a missed tee shot into the back left grandstand on the final hole didn't shake him up -- he just laughed it off, chipped on to the green, and two putted for bogey to walk away with both the TOUR Championship and the FedExCup, and a payout of over $11 million.
Is Snedeker's victory a prelude to the US' likely opportunity to reclaim the Ryder Cup from the Europeans in Medinah?
Not so fast. Rory McIlroy still continues to pace the golf world and is backed by some other exemplary European players, including Justin Rose, who stayed close on Snedeker's heels yesterday, and Sergio Garcia, a Ryder Cup veteran. Europe also has Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, both of whom seem to wallow in Ryder Cup pressure, while the American side has a number of Ryder Cup newbies (including Snedeker).
I'm not about to try and call this one in advance. I'll just say it's generally expected to be very close, and I'll be watching every minute before my pro golf withdrawal and depression sets in.
As for the entirety of the 2012 PGA season, it's likely to prove to be one that golf fans won't soon forget.