Snedeker rides opening-round 59 to second Wyndham win

Raleigh’s Webb Simpson ties for second in PGA Tour’s stop in Greensboro

Brandt Snedeker celebrates after winning the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro. (Rob Kinnan / USA TODAY Sports)

GREENSBORO — Brandt Snedeker was under pressure after producing a course record in the first round of the Wyndham Championship.

He finished strong as well.

Snedeker birdied the final hole to win by three strokes Sunday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro.

Snedeker closed with a 5-under-par 65, leaving him at 21-under 259. Taiwan’s C.T. Pan, who was tied for the lead before double-bogeying No. 18, and Raleigh native Webb Simpson shared second place.

“Being in the lead all week and dealing with that pressure and then shooting a 65 when I had to,” Snedeker said after his ninth PGA Tour victory, “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew somebody was going to come out and put a charge on me. It’s really great to rise to the occasion.”

Snedeker, who posted a 59 in the opening round Thursday, overcame a bogey on No. 13 on Sunday before recovering for a birdie two holes later.

He also won the 2007 Wyndham Championship, the final year the event was held at Forest Oaks Country Club. That was Snedeker’s first PGA Tour victory.

The latest title came with Snedeker overcoming a tie with Pan after the 17th.

“This means the world to me,” Snedeker said. “To do it in Greensboro where I got my first one, kind of everything comes full circle. … I’ve still got a lot of great golf in me.”

Pan, aiming for his first victory on the PGA Tour, hit his tee shot on the final hole out of bounds. The 26-year-old former University of Washington golfer had a bogey-free round until the tournament’s 72nd hole. He was playing in the group in front of Snedeker.

“It’s my fault,” Pan said. “I can learn something from it. It’s only my second year on the tour. I’m still trying to learn from the best players out here.”

Simpson, the 2011 Greensboro champion, shot 62 in the last round. He was within a shot after his birdie on No. 17 capped a three-hole stretch with birdies.

Moments later, it was a three-way tie when Snedeker three-putted on No. 13.

However, Simpson, who played at nearby Wake Forest, carded his only bogey of the final round after an errant tee shot on No. 18.

“It was unfortunate to end with a bogey, but (I) really hit it well,” Simpson said. “So to give myself a chance being a few back starting the day was a good accomplishment.”

Jim Furyk shot 63 for his best round of the season. He finished at 17-under, tied for fourth with D.A Points.

Pan caught Snedeker with a birdie on No. 11, but Snedeker matched that to retake the lead at 20-under. Pan again tied for the lead with a birdie on No. 15.

Snedeker wrapped up the storm-delayed third round Sunday morning by playing 11 holes and clinging to a one-shot lead going to the final round.

Snedeker was 2-under for the third round, but he was at even par across the 11 holes played in the morning.

Brian Gay, who was coming off a 63 and a 62 for his best two rounds in the same tournament on the PGA Tour, had trouble getting cranked up in the final round. He played the first eight holes in even par before posting a 69 to tie former champion Ryan Moore (67) for sixth place at 16-under.

Canadian Nick Taylor, Harris English and Sam Saunders were among the golfers to do enough to qualify for next week’s FedExCup playoffs by winding up in the top 125 in the points standings.

Taylor shot 63 for the final round to reach 15-under (tied for eighth) after struggling in the resumption of the third round with a 70.

“The birdie at 18 was amazing,” Taylor said. “All in all, I couldn’t ask for much more.”

English finished with a 68 for 14-under, tying for 11th.

Saunders, grandson of the late Arnold Palmer, finished at 8-under and tied for 45th place, reaching the playoffs after failing to qualify the past three years with a chance to clinch a spot in this tournament.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, a past Greensboro champion, wasn’t so fortunate. He missed the FedExCup playoff field with a final-round 70 that left him tied for 24th at 12-under.