If this was to be the final edition of The Heritage, she didn’t go away quietly. It took three extra holes to settle the issue with Vanderbilt grad Brand Snedeker winning out over would be world #1 Luke Donald of England.
It’s Snedeker’s second Tour victory, the other coming in 2007, and his fifth top ten finish of this season. Donald extended his streak of close misses at Harbour Town. He finished tied for third in last year’s Heritage, and he tied for second the year before that.
Snedeker stormed from six shots back with a seven under 64 tieing the record for the lowest score in the final round. He finished well ahead of Donald who got to 12 under with a birdie on 13. But he missed birdie attempts at 15 and 16. Donald scrambled for pars on 17 and 18 to set up the playoff.
And the playoff nearly included Columbia’s Tommy Gainey. He missed a birdie putt on 18 which would have put him at 12 under. Instead, he finished alone in third at 11 under and takes home a paycheck of over $387,000. It’s his third top ten finish of the season.
Snedeker and Donald birdied the first extra hole, the 18th, and they both parred the 17th as the playoff continued. But on 18 for the third playoff hole, Donald found the frontside bunker. He blasted out about 15 feet past the pin, and his chip back for par from just off the green hit the back edge of the cup.
Snedeker hit the 18th green in two and two putted for his par and the Plaid Jacket. He also earned over a million dollars and is seventh on the year’s money list. Donald earned over $615,000 and leads the year’s money race at over $2.7 million. Donald also moved up five spots in the FedExCup standings and is now in second, 63 points behind Mark Wilson. Snedeker gained 23 spots and is now 7th.
As for the tournament’s future, tournament director Steve Wilmot issued a statement late Sunday afternoon:
As the Tournament Director, the media is very familiar with my on-going mantra that you can’t control the weather or the leaderboard. As we celebrate this 43rd Heritage, the weather could not be better if we had ordered it. And as leaderboards go, one look and you’d have to say it’s one of the strongest finishing fields we have ever had. This has been a tremendous week of community and community spirit and everyone at the Heritage Classic Foundation appreciates the way the Lowcountry has been part of this Heritage–they have been wonderful hosts to the players and their families as well as each and every visitor to our island.
We will not be making any announcement regarding a new title sponsor today, but the sponsorship search continues in earnest. Trust that as a new or repeating champion is crowned today, the efforts of the Foundation and the PGA TOUR will continue with the care that The Heritage name and tradition deserves.
This afternoon we focus on whomever our champion will be with gratitude of our community for a job well done. We will give that champion the full attention he is due and put his name in the books of The Heritage. The PGA TOUR slogan is “together, anything is possible” and we’ve proven that this week and will prove it again in the future.