Sunday, 09 October 2016
Brandt Snedeker  (Getty Images)
Brandt Snedeker (Getty Images)

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Brandt Snedeker fired a closing 68 to win the Fiji International by nine shots and claim his first European Tour title at Natadola Bay Golf Course.

The World Number 23 was playing in just his fifth regular event as the European Tour made its first visit to Fiji for a tournament co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia.

The island paradise provided a stunning backdrop and Snedeker responded with some stunning golf, finishing 16 under for the biggest winning margin of the season, beating Charl Schwartzel's eight-shot victory at the Tshwane Open.

The 2012 FedEx Cup champion has eight US PGA Tour wins to his name but had missed the cut in all three of his regular European Tour stroke play events, a run he emphatically ended in the South Pacific.

The result completed an excellent ten days for the 35 year old, who claimed three points out of three last week at Hazeltine National to help the United States beat Europe 17-11 and win the Ryder Cup for the first time in eight years.

"To go out there and the play the way I did at the weekend, extend my lead, I'm very happy with how comfortable I felt in that situation," he said.

"I never really gave any back or did anything that would cause myself to lose the golf tournament. I'm just building all that positive stuff right now so it's a lot of fun.

"It kind of worked out perfectly today because it was playing so tough, nobody could really make a run, there were no low scores out there so that made my job a lot easier.

"It's been a pretty good two weeks, I was joking earlier I might add another tournament next week.

"It's been an unbelievable run. To play the way I have has been really fun."

Snedeker has added Ryder Cup and European Tour winner to his CV in the last two weeks and now he is aiming for a Major Championship.

"I've done a lot of other stuff in my career," he added. "Last week helped me prepare for that, handling the pressure the way I did.

"Today is going to help me do that, handling a big lead the way I did, to know I can handle whatever a golf course throws at me against the best players in the world and come out on top.

It's been an unbelievable run. To play the way I have has been really fun - Brandt Snedeker

"The main focus is to get ready to go and be excited about it."

Rounds of 69-65-70, including a run of 49 holes without a bogey, had handed Snedeker a three-shot lead coming into the final day and nobody could close that gap.

New Zealander Michael Hendry emerged as his closest rival, finishing a shot clear of countryman Brad Shilton and Australians Andrew Evans, Matthew Giles and Anthony Houston.

Snedeker made the perfect start with a gain at the first and added two more at the third and sixth before he birdied the ninth for the fourth time to turn in 32.

He made just his third bogey of the week on the tenth but by then those behind him were just jostling for position and a further gain on the 17th handed him a 17th birdie of the tournament.


Hendry started with a bogey but birdies on the third, sixth and ninth catapulted him up the leaderboard. Back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th then stalled his progress as he signed for a level par 72.

Giles and Houston had played in the final group with Snedeker on both Saturday and Sunday but they could not keep pace with their playing partner, carding closing rounds of 74 and 75 respectively.

An eagle on the 17th helped move Shilton through the field with a closing 69, while Evans ended his week with a 71.

Australians Ben Eccles, Daniel Fox, Matthew Griffin and Jake Higginbottom were then all at five under alongside South Korean In-hoi Hur.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SNEDEKER, BrandtUSA18-16
2HENDRY, MichaelNZL18-7
T3SHILTON, BradNZL18-6
T3EVANS, AndrewAUS18-6
T3GILES, MatthewAUS18-6
T3HOUSTON, AnthonyAUS18-6

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