Snedeker costs Donald No. 1 world ranking|
Hilton Head Island, SC (Sports Network) - Brandt Snedeker cost Luke Donald the
No. 1 ranking in the world on Sunday when he beat the Englishman on the third
playoff hole to win The Heritage.
Snedeker parred the third extra hole and Donald didn't go without a fight.
Donald's approach buried in a bunker and his sand shot rolled through the
green. With Snedeker in with par, Donald's chip to extend the playoff lipped
out of the hole, giving Snedeker his second PGA Tour win.
"This is huge," Snedeker said on television. "I knew I was doing great stuff.
It all came together today."
It cost Donald the No. 1 ranking, which he would've earned with a win. Lee
Westwood titled in Indonesia early Sunday and will supplant Martin Kaymer atop
the world rankings.
"It's hard to put that out of your mind," Donald said. "It was going to be
some big rewards if I won today. But I'll try and find the positives from this
week and move on to next week."
But Snedeker certainly earned his win. He fired a final-round 64, waited for
almost two hours, then took Donald out. Donald, the third-round leader, shot a
one-under 70 and the pair tied at 12-under 272.
Snedeker birdied the final hole from 12 feet, then waited quite a while for
the rest of the tournament to unfold. Donald missed a seven-foot birdie chance
for the outright lead on 16, but got up and down from the same bunker at 18
that hurt him in the playoff to force extra holes.
Both players found the fairway off the tee at 18 and Donald hit his approach
to 12 feet. Snedeker hit an equally great second that stopped 10 feet from the
Donald poured in his birdie effort to put the pressure on Snedeker. He handled
it beautifully as his putt fell right into the hole to send the two to the
Snedeker's tee ball landed on a ridge almost 30 feet short of the cup. Donald
hit a poor seven-iron that missed the green short. Donald's second ran six
feet past the hole and Snedeker's birdie putt for the win never threatened.
Donald holed the clutch par save and Snedeker converted his three-footer to
send the pair back to 18.
Snedeker once again found the short grass off the tee and so did Donald, but
the Englishman was distracted by a camera click in his swing. Donald hit
another poor iron that buried in the bunker. Snedeker hit a confident nine-
iron 20 feet right of the flagstick.
Donald muscled his bunker shot out, but the ball immediately went left at
impact and rolled through the putting surface. Snedeker's birdie putt didn't
hit the hole, but he left himself with a tap-in par meaning Donald had to hole
his chip to extend the sudden-death session.
Donald hit a great chip, but it went a little too hard. It hit the hole, but
lipped out and Snedeker got his first PGA Tour win since the 2007 Wyndham
And all he had to do was overcome a six-stroke deficit, wait almost two hours,
then beat a man who was poised to become the game's top player.
"I had no expectations today whatsoever," Snedeker said in a televised
interview. "It's funny when you have no expectations -- you go out there and
play well. I had a great day."
For Donald, it was a bittersweet Easter.
"I came pretty close, yeah. But I've still got some time on my side," Donald
said. "You're constantly moving forward in this game. To be No. 1 would be
great, but it's not everything."
Tommy Gainey carded a three-under 68 and missed the playoff by a single stroke
Tim Herron (67) and Ricky Barnes (69) tied for fourth at 10-under 274.
Nick O'Hern (68), Ben Crane (70) and Pat Perez (70) shared sixth place at
eight-under 276. Kevin Na (66), Paul Goydos (68), Garrett Willis (70), Scott
Verplank (73) and Masters runner-up Jason Day (72) tied for ninth at minus-
NOTES: Snedeker pocketed $1,026,000 for the win...Jim Furyk, last year's
winner and the man who started the final round one stroke behind Donald,
struggled to a five-over 76 and tied for 21st at minus-five...The PGA Tour
moves to Louisiana next week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where
Jason Bohn captured the title last year.
04/24 19:13:00 ET