RBC Canadian Open 2013: Is Brandt Snedeker a Legit 2013 POY Contender?

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2013

OAKVILLE, CANADA - JULY 28: Brandt Snedeker of the United States celebrates on the 18th hole after winning the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abby Golf Club on July 28, 2013 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Brandt Snedeker took his act north of the border, and it was very well-received.

Snedeker has been one of the best and most consistent players on the PGA Tour for the last three seasons. The 2013 season may prove to be his best year, and his three-stroke victory in the RBC Canadian Open was indicative of his consistency and ability to come through with big shots when his competitors feel the pressure.

A look at Snedeker's season has him lingering in the background of the top success stories of the year. His victory in Canada was his second PGA triumph of the season. He also was victorious in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February, and that came after two consecutive second-place finishes in the Farmers Insurance Open and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Those second, second, first finishes spoke volumes about Snedeker's ability to sustain excellent play over long periods.

While he slowed down after his hot streak early in the year, his game is going in the right direction once again.

What a crazy season for Brandt Snedeker. From hottest player to coldest player to hot again. #Sneeeedeker

— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) July 28, 2013
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He is clearly one of the best players on the tour, and the numbers bear him out. He won $1,008,000 with his triumph this week, and that means he has won more than $4.8 million this year. He is also among the FedEx point leaders, ranking third behind Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.

However, when a discussion of the most dominant players on the tour is brought up, Snedeker is somewhere along the periphery. He does not have a major victory on his record, and that's probably keeping him from being recognized as a truly elite player at this point in his career.

Snedeker finished third in the 2012 British Open, and he also finished third in the 2008 Masters. However, outside of those two show performances, Snedeker has been unimpressive in golf's biggest events. He seems a tad nervous, and he rarely shows the consistency in those events that he displays in non-majors.

In the Canadian Open, Snedeker opened with a 70 and got better in Rounds 2 and 3 as he fired a 69 that was followed by a 63. His 70 in the final round was enough for him to secure his victory. It was a solid finish for one of the best players on the tour.

But he needs to upgrade his performance in the majors. In the Masters, Snedeker was a contender for his first major until he shot a 75 on the final day. His performances in the U.S. and British Opens were both ordinary.

Snedeker has one more chance to win a major this season at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. The Rochester, New York, course is considered tough but fair, and there's no reason Snedeker's well-rounded game won't hold up.

If it does and Snedeker finds a way to bring home his first major, it could have far-reaching implications.

It could allow him to become a legitimate Player of the Year candidate. Winning the PGA would give him his third victory of the year. So far this season, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Snedeker are the only golfers on the tour with two triumphs or more.

Mickelson is the only golfer on that list with a major triumph. Adam Scott, who won the Masters, is eighth on the money-earned list, while Justin Rose, who won the U.S. Open, is sixth.

A third victory of the year would leave Snedeker one win behind Woods. However, Tiger is once again without a major, and that edge would speak volumes for Snedeker.

It would likely be a battle among Woods, Mickelson and Snedeker for POY honors if Snedeker were to bring home his first major, which would be his third title of the year.

It would give him the fine finish that has been missing from his career to this point. It's up to Snedeker to keep it going if he wants legitimate consideration for that honor.

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