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Brandt Snedeker wins 2016 Farmers Insurance Open with all-time round in brutal conditions

Brandt Snedeker won with an astonishing round while a violent wind storm ripped up Torrey Pines and destroyed everyone else's scorecard.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The weather over the last 48 hours at Torrey Pines presented some all-time brutal scoring conditions that will be remembered for a long time. It's fitting that the winner booked one of the better rounds in PGA Tour history and won it in one of the most unique ways possible.

When is the last time a pro won a PGA Tour event without hitting a single shot on the final day of the tournament? That's what Brandt Snedeker did on Monday at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he snuck into the clubhouse Sunday with an astounding 3-under 69 while the rest of the field was terrorized by the wind and simply tried to break 80.

Snedeker showed up to Torrey Pines on Monday one shot back of Jimmy Walker, who still had eight holes to play. Sneds did some light warm ups on the putting green and range, but the wind, which had swung 180 degrees in a different direction but was still blowing at about 25-30 mph, made it so he'd never have to hit a shot.

Walker's lead was gone on his very first hole of the day, which was a bogey at the 11th. There were no birdie opportunities out there ... at all. The par-5 18th left a sliver of a chance for a red number, but it was impossible to get there in two and the wind made sure no one could spin it close to the front left pin location. Walker would post three more bogeys on an inward 40 and finished three shots back of Snedeker, who was, again, just hanging out in the clubhouse

K.J. Choi, playing in that final group, was the primary challenger to at least force a playoff and have Snedeker make a shot on Monday to win it. Choi spent much of his final eight holes on Monday struggling to get home in two on par-4s. He carded only two bogeys, but there was really no chance to make a birdie to pull even with Snedeker at 6-under.

The whole day was eerie and a little off, with massive trees down all around the course and spectators and volunteers barred from the grounds. It was just the players, caddies, a few officials, and the media walking around a badly damaged South Course.

Snedeker somehow posted that 3-under round juuuust before play was called for the day on Sunday and the heavy damage started to occur. He may have caught a break with the wind changing direction on Monday, but his conditions were still brutal. How good was his round?

  • Snedeker had the only round under par of 71 players. Only one other managed to shoot even-par.
  • There were 23 players who could not break 80.
  • Scott Brown, who had the 54-hole lead and played with Walker and Choi, posted an 87, which, per Justin Ray of Golf Channel, is the worst final round score from a 54-hole leader in the last decade.
  • Snedeker snuck in to the weekend, making the cut right on the number. The conditions changing and his 3-under 69 made it possible for him to become the first winner since 2010 who made the cut right on the number. (again, h/t Justin Ray)
  • Snedeker was 8.9 strokes better than the final round average of 77.9
  • That 77.9 final round average is the second-highest for a final round on the PGA Tour since 1983 (non-majors).
Snedeker always seems to play well early in the year and out on the West Coast swing. It's where he earned that (relatively) late Masters invite last season, when he was grinding to get to Augusta and then earned an auto-berth with a win at Pebble Beach. In his last three starts on Tour, he's posted a T3, a playoff loss 2nd, and now a win.

The win is his seventh on the PGA Tour since 2011 -- only Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have more during the same time. That's an extremely successful stretch, but Snedeker has been up-and-down throughout -- rocketing near the top of the world rankings, making a Ryder Cup team, struggling with his renowned world-class putting, switching swing coaches. He's unquestionably one of the more successful PGA Tour pros of the past five years but it has not always been easy. Given his recent run, 2016 seems like it may be another push toward a Ryder Cup roster spot. Whatever happens from here forward, however, he'll still have this all-time final round score to cuddle with for the rest of his career.