AFTER an embarrassing last start on the PGA Tour of Australasia Brandt Snedeker has exacted revenge with a dominant performance at the Fiji International.
The eight time PGA Tour winner cruised to a nine shot victory at Natadola Bay Golf Club thanks to a final round 4-under 68.
It was a jubilant return to the PGA Tour of Australasia for the American who endured a humiliating opening round 84 at last year’s PGA Championship at Royal Pines on his way to missing the cut.
He has vowed to return to the Gold Coast to make up for that clumsy effort but will also take some solace from this win.
PLAYER PROFILE BRANDT SNEDEKER:
Starting the day three ahead of the field, Snedeker put the result beyond doubt with the equal second best round of the day kickstarted by two birdies in his first three holes.
Conditions continued to be difficult on day four with strong winds ever present over the final 18 holes.
But Snedeker managed his game brilliantly in making the turn 4-under and all but guaranteeing victory with nine holes still to play.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the day birdieing my first hole out the gate, two of my first three and being 3 under after six…it kind of went my way,” he said.
“I hit a lot of quality golf shots and just never really let up. Just a great way to cap off the week, I’m really happy with the way I finished.
“To go out there and play the way I did over the weekend and extend my lead, I’m very happy with the comfort level I felt in the situation.”
Snedeker, who came to Fiji off the back of winning all three of his matches for the victorious US Ryder Cup team last week, said it had been an unforgettable fortnight.
“It’s been an unbelievable run the last two weeks, to play the way I have has been a lot of fun,” he said.
While the nine shot margin made the victory look easy Snedeker was quick to point out he was never completely comfortable until the job was done.
“This golf course is so brutal I knew if I thought about that for a second it could be a big number waiting on me,” he said.
“It about happened on 10 (his only bogey of the day after a poor tee shot) but I was able to survive there.
“I kept my head down and kept going.”
While Snedeker ran away with the tournament New Zealand’s Michael Hendry continued what has been an impressive year in Japan by climbing to outright second in Fiji.
The 37-year-old signed for a final round of 1-under 71 to be Snedeker’s nearest challenger, surprise first round leader Anthony Houston one of four players sharing third place at 6-under for the week.
He was joined at that mark by 36-hole leader Matthew Giles, New Zealand’s Brad Shilton and 2015 Australian Masters runner-up Andrew Evans.
Former New Zealand Open winner Jake Higginbottom played some of his bEst golf of the year to be part of a five way tie for seventh alongside Daniel Fox, Matthew Griffin, Korea’s Inhoi Hur and reigning NSW Open champion Ben Eccles.
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