Brandt Snedeker is the defending Tour Championship winner, he’s won five times on the PGA Tour, he’s ranked No. 5 in the world and he’s one of the best putters in the professional game. As the FedEx cup winner last year, he took home a bonus of $10 million. But he’s not really satisfied.
He has not won a major, and that’s what is on his mind now that the Masters is here. If winning a major is a process, then this boyish-faced 32-year-old from Nashville feels as if he’s coming of age.
“I hope the process is over,” Snedeker said Tuesday at Augusta National. “I’m ready. I feel like my game’s ready. The biggest hurdle, I think, with winning a major championship is being mentally prepared to handle the stress that you are going to have the last two rounds.
“I know what stress and pressure you’re under on Sunday, especially being in the last group, because I’ve been there. I know what to expect and I know I’m prepared to handle that. So I look forward to the challenge.”
The Masters has been a formidable challenge for Snedeker. He has one top 10 in his five other appearances at Augusta National—a tie for third in 2008, during which he gained popularity for his swift style of play. He missed the cut in 2009 and has tied for 15th and 19th the last two years.
If anything has held Snedeker back in his 10-year career, it’s the physical problems he has had to overcome. He has had surgery on both of his hips in the last three years and lost time this year after he felt soreness—a strained intercoastal muscle—in his left rib cage. He cracked a rib in 2012, and soreness returned soon after he won at Pebble Beach two months ago.
He said he is fully healed now.
“I feel great,” Snedeker said. “I came in here very well rested and I’m as fresh as I can ever remember being for a Masters, and it’s hopefully going to pay dividends on the weekends.”
Snedeker started 2013 with a bang. He tied for third at the season-opener at Kapalua, tied for second at San Diego, and came in second at Phoenix before winning the following week at Pebble Beach. In only six tournaments, Snedeker has made nearly $2.9 million.
But he’s also missed his last two cuts.
“Yeah, I wish I was coming off better form,” he said. “But I actually feel like I’m playing pretty well, a hundred percent healthy, which is a nice thing.”
So that leaves Snedeker thinking about a major, about winning one, maybe even wearing a Green Jacket on Sunday evening. He said he’s spent a great deal of time with his family and his advisors about his time to shine.
“This is my prime time,” Snedeker said. “From now until about 40, historically what golfers do, this is the time we play our best golf. I have to take advantage of my skills and really put golf first and make sure that this is my prime time to win majors ... win golf tournaments and try to maximize that time.”