Brandt Snedeker pulling away at 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Scott Halleran

The hottest player in the world plays the first seven holes in 5-under to take a multi-shot lead on Sunday.

Brandt Snedeker appears to be pulling away from the field early on Sunday at the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Snedeker entered the day tied for the lead with James Hahn at 12-under, and he's played his first seven holes in 5-under to take a three-shot lead over Chris Kirk.

This is not the Pebble Beach layout one would see for the U.S. Open, with the teeth of the course dulled down considerably. The first seven holes provide the pros with ample opportunities to go low and make a move, and Snedeker did just that to take the multi-shot lead as he makes his way to the turn. It all started with a perfect approach shot on No. 2, an long iron which he dropped over the top right on the flagstick. He tapped in for eagle there to take a lead that may never be relinquished.

Snedeker is known for his putting, which may be the best in the world at this point. He steadily sank a significant bender on the par-3 7th to move to 17-under for the week. It's the most picturesque par-3 in golf, a short wedge that can confound golfers because of the wind. But Snedeker birdied it both times this week to cap another strong seven-hole stretch. When Snedeker has missed with his approach shots, such as on Nos. 3 and 8, he's been able to get up-and-down from the greenside rough to save par.

After back-to-back second-place finishes to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, it's unsurprising to see Snedeker at the top of the leaderboard yet again. Kirk is making a push, hanging around and moving to within two shots after picking up another red number on the 8th hole. But it will be a tough task closing the gap against Snedeker, who's been playing the best golf on the planet through the first month of the season.

Some of the leaders and notables as the fourth round progresses:

Player Score Thru
Brandt Snedeker -17 8
Chris Kirk -15 8
James Hahn -13 7
Fredrik Jacobson -12 12
Kevin Stadler -12 11
Jimmy Walker -12 10
Retief Goosen -12 9
Robert Garrigus -12 9
Jim Furyk -5 14
Vijay Singh -2 16
Phil Mickelson -1 12

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