Brandt Snedeker played the biggest round of his career for the biggest payoff in golf.
Needing to win the Tour Championship on Sunday to beat out Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods for the FedEx Cup, Snedeker came up with three big birdies on the back nine at Atlanta's East Lake to take all the drama out of a final day that had been loaded with possibilities.
Snedeker hit his final tee shot into the grandstand left of the 18th green and made bogey. By then, it didn't matter. So dominant was his performance that he was the only player from the last five groups who managed to break par, closing with a 2-under 68. Along the way, he answered any questions about why Davis Love III made him a U.S. captain's pick for the Ryder Cup this week at Medinah (Ill.).
Snedeker won by three shots over Justin Rose (71) for his second tour title of the year, and collected $1.44 million. And he won the $10 million bonus for taking the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy and Woods, both of whom could have won the FedEx Cup with a victory Sunday, faded early and were never a factor.
"I think it solidifies what I already know," Snedeker said. "When I play my best golf, my best golf is some of the best in the world."
McIlroy had won the last two playoff events and three of his last four tournaments dating to his eight-shot win in the PGA Championship. He's virtually a lock to be voted PGA Tour player of the year but settled for second place in the FedEx Cup.
"I'm a little disappointed, but at the same time, Brandt really deserves to win," McIlroy said. "He played the best golf out of anyone. He controlled his own destiny, just like I did. And he was able to come and do that."
Snedeker finished at 10-under 270 and will move into the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time.
Snedeker, McIlroy and Woods were separated by four shots going into the final day. Woods had a 72 and finished eight shots back in a tie for eighth. McIlroy shot 74 to finish another stroke behind.
"I just didn't have it this weekend," Woods said.
LPGA Tour: Stacy Lewis won the Navistar LPGA Classic for her third tour victory in five months and second in the state of Alabama, closing with a 3-under 69 to defeat defending champion Lexi Thompson by two strokes.
Lewis parred the final two holes after a 12-foot birdie putt on 16 gave her the final cushion. Thompson, 17, closed with a 66 at the Capitol Hill complex in Prattville. Lewis finished at 18-under 270 and won $195,000.
Web.com Tour: Luke Guthrie rallied to win the WNB Classic for his second straight tour title, closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-shot victory. He had a 17-under 271 at Midland Country Club (Texas) and won $99,000 to go from fourth to first on the money list at $382,463. Danny Lee (72) and Cameron Percy (70) shared second.