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Refreshed Snedeker Making Run at Defending FedExCup Title
Brandt Snedeker is looking to make the PGA TOUR's little ol' playoff scheme his little ol' personal retirement plan.
After last year's seemingly out-of-nowhere (except maybe to him) FedExCup win, Snedeker has had a fairly decent 2013. But, really, he may have been waiting, biding his time, for these playoffs to begin. His bogey-free 8-under par first round 63 in this week's BMW Championship (the fifth 63 of his still-young career) at Conway Farms Golf Club puts him square into the middle of every discussion.
Here's what Mr. Snedeker had to say for himself after today's remarkable round.
Q. Great way to start the tournament if we can get some comments.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it was one of those days where everything seemed to go right in the middle of the round. Got off to kind of a slow start and made a great birdie from off the green on 13 that got everything moving in the right direction, and to roll off seven birdies in a row kind of came out of nowhere. I wasn't expecting it. I hadn't been playing the best to say the least, and to get on a roll like that is always welcoming. Great frame of mind, looking forward to the rest of the week. I realize it's going to be a completely different golf course tomorrow if the wind changes. Excited I got my one low one in me out of the way early and go out and play some solid golf the rest of the week.
Q. How excited are you trying to defend this FedExCup title? BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's great. I've been telling everybody my main goal was to be in the top 5 going into the FedExCup finale in East Lake and realize how important that is. So that's my whole goal for this week, and I've done a great job putting myself in position to get to next week and controlling my own destiny and having a chance to retain that Cup that I've had for a year and cherished for a year.
Q. Playing seven tournaments in a row and 11 of 14, how much was the off weak necessary for you? BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think it helped. Physically I felt great. Mentally it's just good to get refreshed, kind of step away from the game, see what you've been doing poorly, come up with new game plan for the last two weeks and realize that I've still had a great year and it can be even a better year depending on these last two weeks. I'm obviously excited with the way I played today, the way I feel like I've been playing and kind of building on it and should get better as the week goes on.
Q. How did you spend the week? Did you put the clubs away for a few days?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I did, yeah. I kind of got away from golf for a little bit and got the battery recharged and over the weekend get ready for this. So it was good to finally get away and spend some time with the family, which was nice, and just fully refreshed coming into here.
Q. When you took that time to reflect and everything, was it more a mental thing, or was there something in your game that you saw that you wanted to do? BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think it was probably a little bit of both. I've been struggling with my ball striking a little bit for the last four or five weeks, and it was good to get away and take a good hard look at what I was doing, and it's hard to do that during an event because you don't want to switch too much stuff, so it was good to get away from it and really take a good hard look at it and come up with a good game plan how I'm going to fix it. And I feel like Todd Anderson, my coach, and I did a great job over the weekend of coming up with a good game plan and hopefully it keeps going like this for the rest of the week.
Q. Do you like it more when you're in a format like this when you know you've got to go out and make a bunch of birdies as opposed to tournaments where par is going to do it?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I have fun at both. It's just two completely different styles of golf. I knew coming into this tournament, depending on the wind, the course was going to play relatively easy just because there's a lot of short holes, there's a lot of par 5s that are reachable, greens are perfect, so if you hit the greens you're going to have a lot of birdie putts or makeable birdie putts. I knew birdies were going to be important this week, and that's something I typically can do pretty well when I get on a run. Did a great job of doing that today. It's going to be different tomorrow, I think, with the wind changing. I'll kind of pay attention to what guys are doing early and see how they're playing and if they're still making a bunch of birdies and kind of go with the same game plan I had today.
Q. How challenging were the gusting winds today, and your final hole you faced a pretty up and down from the back of the green. Was it much of a frustration that you had to wait so long on Justin's ruling, though? BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it was the wind was tough the last nine holes especially, got really blowing pretty good, and just real gusty, so it could switch on you in a heartbeat. You just didn't really know what to do. The ninth hole was a perfect example of just kind of a big wind gust coming up and moving that ball where it ended up. Had to wait a little while on Justin. I had to have a ruling, too, so it was going to be a wait anyways, and actually left it in a spot where it was a relatively easy up and down and I had a decent lie, ended up getting a decent lie. Not the ideal way to finish, but it was a good par save, and gets me some decent momentum going into tomorrow.
Q. I just wanted to know your thoughts about the golf course and how it compared to yesterday's round and if it's changing at all.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it has. This is my fourth or fifth time around this place. I played a U.S. Junior here a long time ago and then played a college event here in 2001, I think, or 2000. The golf course I thought played very fair today. The ball is running out a lot in the fairway, so it's playing relatively short. With the wind changing the way it did, it's going to dry it out. The greens are going to get really firm and it's going to be playing a lot different over the weekend than it did today.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about that streak of seven birdies, kind of what your mindset was, and maybe if one was more difficult BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I didn't really think about it too much until 16. I made a good birdie on 16, which is playing tough today, so I think at that point it was four or five in a row. 17 I ended up missing the green on the back fringe, and that putt went in from about 40 feet. Then I started thinking, okay, we've got something going on here. This is pretty special. This doesn't happen every day. And then 18, par 5, hit a wedge in there close, and at that point I think I had six in a row. It felt like if I could just hit nine greens in a row coming in, I was going to have a really special day. I was going to have a chance to shoot something really, really low. I made that putt on one and really felt like 61 or 60 was very doable, and I had a really good chance of doing it, and just didn't make any putts coming in after that. I realize these days don't happen very often, so when I do have these days, I try to go as low as I possibly can because it does make a big difference when I look back on it.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.