Brandt Snedeker (pictured) won the Farmers Insurance Open last year and is playing well enough to contend again on courses that are clearly suited to his game. Snedeker finished second for putts per round last season and decent putting will be important on the two host courses at Torrey Pines in California.
Last year’s renewal could be seen as one that Kyle Stanley lost. He began the final round with a five-stroke lead and at one point on the Sunday led by seven. However, he collapsed on the 18th hole and lost the resulting play-off to Snedeker.
The eventual champion entered the final day in second place, six shots behind Stanley. That player still had a three-shot lead when teeing off on the 18th hole, but hit a ball into water and took three putts on the green. That led to the play-off which Snedeker won on the second extra hole.
The win at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open was Snedeker’s third on the PGA Tour. On each occasion he had come from off the pace to post a clubhouse score that was not bettered. However, when he won last year’s Tour Championship he proved he could win from the front.
Snedeker also won the FedEx Cup last season, which meant he earned a 10 million dollar bonus. The huge cheque didn’t seem to affect him too much, and he even questioned the need to buy a new car when he already had a perfectly reliable vehicle in his garage.
That run of form during the early autumn of last year earned Snedeker a wildcard pick for the Ryder Cup. He picked up just one point from three matches and lost in the singles to Paul Lawrie, by 5 and 3.
In the context of this week’s tournament and the nature of the host courses Snedeker looks a leading contender. In addition to last year’s win he has made the cut at Torrey Pines four times in the five years.
Our player in Focus finished six shots off the pace in both the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Humana Challenge. That means his profile comprises good course and current form and skills suited to this week’s host layouts.