Snedeker’s win shatters Donald’s No. 1 dreamshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/snedekers-win-shatters-donalds-no-1-dreams/

Snedeker’s win shatters Donald’s No. 1 dreams

American Brandt Snedeker won The Heritage in a thrilling playoff with Luke Donald,denying the Briton a chance to become world number one.

American Brandt Snedeker won The Heritage in a thrilling playoff with Luke Donald on Sunday,denying the Briton a chance to become world number one.

Snedeker clinched his second PGA Tour title at the third extra hole,the par-four 18th,which he parred after narrowly missing a birdie from 15 feet. Donald bogeyed the hole after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker from where he was unable to get up and down,lipping out with his par chip from the fringe.

“It’s a storybook ending really,to be playing Luke in a playoff,” a beaming Snedeker said.

“To even have a chance to win was exciting. I didn’t really have any expectations today,at all. I came out and just kind of everything clicked. I drove the ball fantastic,came up with a lot of birdie opportunities.”

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The first two playoff holes were halved as Snedeker and Donald each began birdie,par. Donald pumped his right fist after sinking a downhill birdie putt from 12 feet at the first extra hole,also the 18th,before the American followed suit from 10 feet.

They both parred the 17th,Donald getting up and down from the front greenside bunker and Snedeker two-putting from just off the green. The pair had finished the 72 regulation holes on 12-under-par 272,Donald parring the last for a one-under 70 and Snedeker closing with a sizzling nine-birdie 64.

American Tommy Gainey,bidding for his maiden PGA Tour victory,finished alone in third place at 11 under after closing with a 68.

Finding positives

“Hats off to Brandt,” Donald said. “He played a fantastic round and I just came up a little short. Unfortunately both on the 72nd hole and that second playoff hole on 18,I got a bit stuck in between clubs and didn’t hit great shots. 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.”

Had Donald won,he would have replaced Germany’s Martin Kaymer as world number one. Instead,fellow Briton Lee Westwood will take over at the top after winning the Indonesian Masters.

A stroke in front going into the final round,Donald slipped early on to trail two different leaders — Snedeker and American Ricky Barnes — on a wildly fluctuating afternoon before regaining his poise on the back nine.

He knocked in an 18-foot birdie putt at the 13th to draw level with Snedeker at 12-under,then narrowly missed a birdie opportunity from seven feet at the 16th to claim outright lead.

“I had a good chance there,” Donald said. “I thought if I made that putt I could win the tournament.”

The Briton again seemed to be in trouble at the last where his approach ended up in the front bunker but he coolly got up and down from there to take the tournament into a playoff. Snedeker,a distant six strokes off the pace after the third round,birdied five of the first seven holes before reaching the turn in six-under 30 to surge into title contention.