Snedeker comes up clutch, captures FedEx Cup

ATLANTA — Brandt Snedeker played the biggest round of his career for the biggest payoff in golf.

Needing to win the Tour Championship on Sunday to beat out Rory McIlroy for the FedEx Cup, Snedeker came up with three big birdies on the back nine at East Lake to take all the drama out the final day that had been loaded with possibilities.

Snedeker hit his final tee shot into the grandstand left the 18th green and made bogey. By then, it didn't matter. So dominant was his performance that he was the only player from the last five groups who managed to break par, closing with a 2-under 68. Along the way, he answered any questions about why Davis Love III made him a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next week at Medinah.

Snedeker won by three shots over Justin Rose (71) in the Tour Championship, his second title of the year, and collected $1.44 million. And he won the $10 million bonus for capturing the FedEx Cup, which comes with a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy and Tiger Woods, both of whom could have won the FedEx Cup with a victory Sunday, faded early and were never a factor. Snedeker joins Woods (twice), Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk and Bill Haas as winners of the FedEx Cup in its six-year history.

McIlroy had won the last two playoff events and three of his last four tournaments dating to his eight-shot win in the PGA Championship. He still is virtually a lock to be voted PGA Tour player of the year, but he had to settle for second place in the FedEx Cup.

Snedeker finished at 10-under 270 and will move into the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time.

Snedeker, McIlroy and Woods were separated by four shots going into the final round. All any of them had to do was win to capture the FedEx Cup.

Woods had a 72 and finished eight shots behind in a tie for eighth. McIlroy shot 74 to finish another stroke back.

Navistar LPGA Classic

At Prattville, Ala., Stacy Lewis won the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday for her third LPGA Tour victory in five months, closing with a 3-under 69 to beat defending champion Lexi Thompson by two strokes.

Lewis parred the final two holes after a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 16 gave her the final cushion, and Thompson shot a 66 on The Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex.

Lewis also won in Mobile in late April, edging Thompson by a stroke in that tournament. The former Arkansas also won the Shoprite LPGA Classic in June.

The 17-year-old Thompson rebounded from a third-round 74. She won the event last year at 16 to become the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history, a mark broken last month by 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko in the Canadian Women's Open.

Lewis finished at 18 under, one shot shy of the tournament record set by Australia's Katherine Hull in 2010. Lewis reclaimed the No. 2 spot in the world rankings and opened a 56-point lead over Jiyai Shin in the player of the year race. The last American player of the year was Beth Daniel in 1994.

WNB Golf Classic

At Midland, Texas, Ashland native Jason Allred shot an even-par 72 to finish 14th at the WNB Golf Classic at Midland Country Club.

Allred recorded four birdies and just one bogey on the front nine before reversing those numbers on the back nine. He birdied hole Nos. 2, 4, 6, 7 and 3.

He moved back just three spots from where he began the final day after firing a 5-under 67 in the third round. He finished with a four-day total of 279 at 9-under par.

Luke Guthrie registered his second 66 of the event, skipping ahead of Danny Lee by one stroke to claim victory. Guthrie totalled a score of 271 at 17-under par.

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