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Persistent Snedeker earns Pebble Beach reward

ESPN staff
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Brandt Snedeker clinched his fifth PGA Tour title © Getty Images
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Pebble Beach Pro-Am leaderboard

Brandt Snedeker's frustrating wait for a first PGA Tour title in 2013 finally ended on Sunday as the American triumphed by two shots at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Snedeker had come up agonisingly short on three occasions already this season, registering one third-place finish and two second-place efforts from four outings. He refused to be denied at Pebble Beach, recording a winning total of 19-under for his fifth PGA Tour win.

The 2012 FedEx Cup winner began the day level at the top of the leaderboard with compatriot James Hahn. But as Hahn's challenge quickly faded, Snedeker accelerated as he applied pressure to his chasers throughout the final afternoon.

An eagle three at the par-five second provided an explosive start to Snedeker's round, after a low trajectory approach to the pin set up an easy putt. He followed that with a birdie at four to open a two-shot lead over new rival Chris Kirk.

Kirk briefly threatened by birdying six to close the gap to one, but Snedeker answered him with two birdies of his own at six and seven to restore his cushion. It was an advantage he maintained going into the final two holes.

Only a wobble could cost him victory, but Snedeker instead produced a wonderful approach to the 17th pin for a birdie two to extend his lead. Focused and determined, Snedeker did not relent until he sank his final putt, a putt that lifts him to No. 4 in the world.

Kirk was forced to settle for second, with Kevin Stadler, Jimmy Walker and Hahn all back on 14-under in a tie for third.

Lee Westwood's unspectacular tournament fizzled out with an even-par 72 to leave him on an overall score of three-under. Westwood registered a double-bogey on the front nine for the second consecutive day, but four birdies in the opening six holes softened that blow as he finished in a tie for 46th.

The Brit finished ahead of Phil Mickelson, who fell back to one-under after he too carded a 72. Starting on the back nine, Mickelson hit a double-bogey seven at the 18th and never really recovered.

Greg Owen bettered the efforts of both Mickelson and Westwood, completing with a 68 to finish on five-under for the tournament.

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