A daunting task awaits Brandt Snedeker this weekend.
In order to capture his first FedEx Cup, the Nashville native must catapult four spots from fifth place, where he stands heading into the Tour Championship in Atlanta. And he’s not trying to leapfrog just anybody either. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson stand in his way.
Snedeker couldn’t ask for a better position.
“My main goal to start the year was to give myself a chance. I’ve done that,” the 31-year-old said. “Now, I’ve got to go down there and take advantage of it and try to win it. To beat the field would be a huge accomplishment for my career. I think my game is ready. The next step for me is to win the FedEx Cup, compete for FedEx Cups and compete for majors on a consistent basis. I think my game is ready to do that.”
Behind a hot putter, the former Vanderbilt standout rolls into the final leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs at East Lake Golf Club on Thursday.
In his sixth season on the PGA Tour, Snedeker is enjoying his most successful year with six top-10 finishes, including his third career win. Next week, he’ll play in his first Ryder Cup as one of four captain picks by Davis Love III.
“It is a culmination of a lot of hard work,” Snedeker said. “There were a lot of years where I wasn’t getting the results that I felt like I was putting in. Now it seems like all that time and effort I put in those years where I struggled a little bit has really come full circle. Now I’m getting the fruits of those labors.”
Snedeker is 3,942 points behind McIlroy, the leader. But a win this weekend would secure the Cup for Snedeker. Even finishing second still gives him a mathematical chance.
It’s exactly where Snedeker hoped he would be. He entered the four-tournament playoff 19th in the standings. But he helped himself out with a second-place finish at The Barclays and by placing sixth at the Deutsche Bank Championship before tying for 37th at the BMW Championship last week.
“It has been great,” Snedeker said. “Everybody’s main goal going into these playoffs is getting into the top five for East Lake. So that if you win East Lake you control your own destiny — you win the FedEx Cup. To accomplish that main goal is great. Going into this week has been huge. You look at the names on the FedEx Cup trophy between Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Vijay Singh ... it’s something I want to do.”