Brandt Snedeker shows saving grace

Updated: September 5, 2010, 10:04 PM ET
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com

NORTON, Mass. -- Stop me if you think you've heard this one before: Brandt Snedeker faltered at a key moment of a FedEx Cup event.

It wasn't of the magnitude of last year's meltdown at the BMW Championship, but it looked as though Snedeker was heading in that direction on his approach to the 18th green during Sunday's third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

[+] EnlargeBrandt Snedeker
AP Photo/Michael DwyerBrandt Snedeker chipped in on the 18th to save par and stay one shot behind leader Jason Day.

But this time, the 29-year-old Tennessean composed himself and saved par.

"I have a tendency to kind of get wound up and get a little antsy and do stuff a little too fast," Snedeker said.

Although Australian Jason Day (-17) took a one-stroke lead with a 5-under 66 -- in the process, tying the 54-hole course record -- Snedeker prevented himself from falling any further behind with a terrific par save to finish with a 67.

Snedeker played his approach to the 18th green from 200 yards out and found a thicket of brush. His ensuing lob wedge didn't carry and the ball stuck on the fringe.

But Snedeker then calmed himself and coolly chipped in for par.

"It was one of those few pitch shots that came off perfect," he said. "[I] hit my line right where I wanted to and it started rolling. It never really happens that way. Normally, when I start walking those pitch shots in, they lip out or hit something."

The crowd erupted as Snedeker pumped his fist, knowing that he'd just preserved his spot in Monday's final pairing.

"Over the course of a tournament, every shot counts the same," Snedeker said. "I missed a few short putts this week that I'm kind of kicking myself over right now. To end the day on a positive note and to make dinner taste a little better, maybe come out here with a fresher state of mind tomorrow … But we're both going to have to go out there and play some good golf tomorrow."

Day also knows what is ahead of him.

"Brandt is a competitor, and he stuck it out until the end and made a really good par save there," Day said. "I'm going to look forward to tomorrow. It's going to be really, really enjoyable."

Aussies on the move

Australians Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy made Sunday's biggest jumps up the leaderboard. Both shot 6-under 65 to move to 12-under for the tournament, five shots behind Day. They joined American Tom Gillis with the best scores of the round.

It's been a while since Scott claimed the first Deutsche Bank Championship, back in 2003. Since then, he admits he's gotten a bit grayer on top.

"I'm dead serious," Scott said. "You just evolve as a person and as a golfer, I guess. I'm 30 years old, so I'm not the kid I was back then."

While some things may have changed, his ability to put up low scores on this course has not.

"I like going back to a place where I've had success, absolutely," Scott said. "And whether the course is different or not, it's still the same area and the same people that come out. It's nice to be here and have them remember that I won here once."

Albatross for Singh

Two-time Deutsche Bank winner Vijay Singh claimed the shot of the day and the rarest in golf, an albatross, on the par-5 second hole. Singh holed it with a 5-iron over the second's looming water hazard.

"You know, you can get a hole-in-one, but a double eagle is kind of one in a million," he said. "But I'll take it.

It marked the second straight year in which the feat has been accomplished on the second. John Senden holed the second in two last year.

Singh went on to birdie two other holes, but also put up bogeys on holes three, eight and 16 to finish at 2-under 69 and go to 10-under for the tournament, seven shots out of the lead.

So what was he trying to do on the second?

"Just hoping it was going to get up on the green somewhere," Singh said. "And it kind of just went in the hole."

Scott Barboza

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
Scott Barboza joined ESPNBoston.com as a high schools editor/reporter in May 2010. He spent the previous three seasons working in the New England Patriots media relations department after a stint at the Taunton Daily Gazette, where he covered everything from Little League baseball to the Boston Red Sox.

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