|Brandt Snedeker nearly doubled his career earnings with this FedEx Cup win. (Getty Images)|
Heading into the FedEx Cup playoffs, there were plenty of names that would have topped your list of potential champions. Tiger Woods had three wins heading into the Barclays and while he'd struggled in majors, seemed like the most consistent pick to take his third $10 million bonus. Rory McIlroy was coming off an epic PGA Championship win and was swinging as good as anyone on tour. And then you had the usual suspects of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk.
But the idea of the playoffs, just like every other sport, is to find the guy that is playing the best golf at that moment, and in 2012, Brandt Snedeker simply showed that if you can catch fire for four weeks, you can shock the golf world, and take home a hefty little bonus.
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Snedeker was having a solid season by his account, with a win at the Farmers Insurance Open and a T-3 at the British Open, but the best putter in the world missed the cut at the PGA and finished a disappointing T-28 at the Wyndham, a tournament that seems to fit his game perfectly.
But momentum is everything in these playoffs. Tiger had it when they started. Vijay Singh and Furyk both caught fire at the end of their respective FedEx wins, and Bill Haas was the poster child for taking full advantage when others struggled.
With Snedeker, it was a good example of what golf is all about. Davis Love III most likely had a list of guys he might have wanted to pick for the American Ryder Cup, but Snedeker played his way onto his radar. He finished second at the Barclays and sixth alone at the Deutsche Bank, two straight weeks without a round of 70. His putter has been on fire all year, but with his swing grooving things changed.
On Sunday at the Tour Championship, Snedeker showed why he's this year's playoff winner. On the 16th hole, one of the hardest at East Lake, Snedeker hit a dart into the par-4, below the hole, just where he needed it, and after two-putting for par, handled the tough 17th with just as much grace and presence of mind (no way he was hitting that drive left near the water, just what champions do).
We've seen guys do this in the past. Keegan Bradley rode the momentum train to a major championship win last season. Haas was a perfect example in these playoffs in '11. But Snedeker is the type of golfer that could not only win the big tournament, but could win in bunches (you don't understand how much of an advantage it is to be the best putter on the planet).
There will be plenty of people next week that fans will be paying attention to. Tiger, Rory, Luke Donald and Mickelson are just some of the names that will have fans scurrying around Medinah, but Snedeker might be the best player on the planet right now, and it seems things shouldn't stop for the $10 million man.