As Brandt Snedeker approached the final tee of the final round of the final tournament of the PGA Tour season, money finally popped into his head.
“I was not thinking about the $10 million at all until the last hole and I hit an awful shot,” he said on Sunday. “So that shows you what that does for you.”
A bogey on the 18th hole at East Lake Golf Club couldn’t keep him from securing golf’s biggest payoff.
For winning the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday — he finished three strokes ahead of Justin Rose with a 10-under — the Nashville native took home a $1.44 million purse. But he also received an extra $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup title — the PGA Tour’s season-long championship that concluded with four weeks of playoffs.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Snedeker, who will compete in the Ryder Cup this weekend. “It’s going to be an unbelievable thing to go through this process of being financially secure for a long period of time. Looking at what we can do to help other people out with that money. I’m not by any means a flashy guy. Of anybody that I know, I do not need $11 million.”
It’s not like Snedeker was strapped for cash.
Though he grew up playing on nearby municipal courses such as McCabe, Ted Rhodes, Shelby and Harpeth Hills, he went through the private school trifecta — Harding Academy, Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt University. The 31-year-old entered last weekend in 10th on the money list with more than $3.5 million in earnings for the second straight year.
Even so, $10 million is “crazy talk” to Snedeker.
“It’s like winning the lottery,” he said. “So this will definitely. ... I don't know. I don't know what to tell you I'm going to do with it because I have no clue what I'm going to do with it. This is a new thing for me. I never even thought about having that much money before. Now that I do, I have to figure out how to hold on to it and help people and take care of my family.”
His family is about to get bigger as his wife, Mandy, is expected to have a boy, on Oct. 24. The couple already has one child — 18-month-old Lily — so diapers will be one of the big splurges.
But, beyond that, Snedeker isn’t a big spender. He says his Nashville home isn’t “grandiose by any means." His GMC Yukon Denali, which he bought nearly five years ago, only has 24,000 miles.
“Why do I need a new car? It’s new,” he said. “I never drive it.”
Instead, Snedeker plans to be generous with those who are less fortunate.
It won't be the first time he’s used his high profile in philanthropic endeavors. In 2010, Snedeker and Mandy, along with friend and fellow golfer Lucas Glover, joined together at the annual Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Charity Cup to raise money for victims of the devastating flood.
“There are going to be things we can do to really help people,” Snedeker said. “That’s the way I look at it. This is unbelievable to be financially stable for the rest of my career. As long as I’m not an idiot, I should be fine. I really think we can make a difference and help a lot of people out in Nashville and Tennessee and the surrounding areas.”