Brandt Snedeker really wanted to win this Masters.
He said as much after his third round Saturday, when he learned he was tied for the lead with Angel Cabrera at 7-under and playing in the final group on the final day.
“I’m mentally fresh and physically fresh, and this is what I’ve worked my whole life for,” Snedeker said. “So, I’m really excited about what tomorrow holds.”
But Sunday didn’t hold much that was good for the Nashville, Tenn., native who feels so comfortable at Augusta National and feels a deep affection for the Club, course and Tournament.
His start was promising, with a birdie on No. 1, but bogeys on hole Nos. 4 and 5 dropped him to 6-under. Snedeker climbed back with a birdie at the par-5 8th. But then his putter started to falter on the increasingly wet greens, and bogeys followed on Nos. 10, 11 and 14, to put him at 4-under, four shots off the lead.
At that point, his hopes of donning the Green Jacket were all but dashed. With a final-round score of 75, Snedeker finished in a tie for sixth at 4-under.
In some ways, his finish was reminiscent of 2008, when he also played in the last group on Sunday. That time, he was in second place at the start, two behind the leader and eventual winner Trevor Immelman. But the ragged 77 that Snedeker shot that day left him emotionally drained and tied for third.
He said he did a better job of keeping his wits this time, and he didn’t blame his deep desire to win at Augusta for the poor showing.
“No, I didn’t want it too much at all,” Snedeker said. “If I had wanted it too much, I would have played horribly. I would have gotten off to a difficult start and done a bunch of stupid stuff. I didn’t do that. I played really well and within myself. I just putted terribly.”
A steady afternoon rain softened and slowed the greens considerably, and Snedeker said that caused him problems, especially when he didn’t adapt to the adverse conditions.
“The greens really messed me up,” he said. “I was so used to how fast they were yesterday, and I left every putt short. I did not do a good job of making adjustments.”
Snedeker described himself as “frustrated and disappointed” and talked about how he was going to have a couple of difficult days and nights to deal with his finish.
“I had a really good chance to win a major championship, and I didn’t do it,” he said.
But Snedeker remains pleased with the state of his game and confident about his chances at Merion, where the U.S. Open will be played in June.
“I fully expect to be in contention for the U.S. Open,” he said. “I know my game can hold up to it. I am ready to go do it.”