SAN DIEGO – Brandt Snedeker called it one of the best rounds he ever played, one he doubts he could repeat if he had to start over. Still to be determined was whether his 3-under 69 in a raging wind and occasional rain Sunday at Torrey Pines would be good enough to win the Farmers Insurance Open.
He has to wait until Monday to find out.
Not long after Snedeker finished, the final round was suspended for the third and final time because of unplayable conditions. The wind was so fierce that the South Course was evacuated as the gusts started to push out windows in tents.
Stewart Williams, a meteorologist for the PGA Tour, said the peak gust was between 80 kph and 88 kph. Monday will be closed to the public, and the only volunteers on duty will be drivers of the evacuation vans for the players.
“It’s like playing a British Open on a U.S. Open setup,” Snedeker said.
In gusts that frequently topped 64 kph, he delivered a major performance. Snedeker played the final 17 holes without a bogey. Of the 23 players who finished the round, 11 of them shot in the 80s and their average score was 78.9.
Snedeker’s one regret was not getting up-and-down for birdie on the par-5 18th hole, fearing that might leave him short of another unlikely victory at Torrey Pines.
He posted at 6-under 282.
As he stood on the 18th tee with the wind at his back, the final group of Jimmy Walker, K.J. Choi and Scott Brown were above him on the ninth tee headed in the other direction. When play was halted, Walker was at 7 under, one shot ahead of Snedeker and Choi. The final group was through 10 holes.
“This course is so tough,” Snedeker said. “It’s blowing 25 mph (40 kph), gusting out there and windy and rainy conditions. It’s really tough. I wish I could say why I shot what I shot today. It was one of those days where you throw everything out of your mind and go play golf and grind as best as you possibly could.”
The next-best score to Snedeker was a 73 by Shane Lowry of Ireland.
There already were 11 rounds in the 80s, and there was certain to be many more. The South Course is a beast in reasonable weather. Throw in the wind and rain, especially on the holes exposed by the bluffs along the Pacific, and this was as tough as it gets.