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September 28, 2016

Brandt Snedeker

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

JOHN DEVER: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the 41st Ryder Cup. Very pleased to be joined by Brandt Snedeker, U.S. Ryder Cup Team.

This is your second Ryder Cup, but when someone might ask you about The Ryder Cup, what images and emotions kind of flash into your mind about this event?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: You know, a lot. I remember '99 always comes straight back to my mind, being a big Ben Crenshaw fan growing up and seeing those God awful shirts on Sunday and the comeback that they had. It's one of the first things to pop in my mind when I think of The Ryder Cup, and I think of obviously my experiences with it.

It's unlike anything that we get to do here on Tour in sport, and when you show up on Friday morning on this first tee and have the emotion running through you, the U.S.A. flag on your shoulder and realizing how important this is to so many people besides yourself, and the pressure that goes with that.

So it's a great experience. It's unlike anything we get to do, and it's fun being part of it and it's nerve-wracking, exciting, fun, all these things kind of wrapped into one.

JOHN DEVER: You're back for the first time since 2012, which that time was also captained by Captain Love. So you're a good person to ask; what type of leader is Davis Love?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: He's great. It's fun to see him kind of evolve from 2012 to 2016 and see how he's kind of taken on the role as the flag bearer for the new Ryder Cup system for us.

I had a great experience in 2012. I thought he did an unbelievable job in Chicago. I will defend Davis Love to the day I die about being a great captain that week, and doing everything right, and we as players didn't do our part. I think this week's going to be more of the same.

We've got an unbelievable team room. We've got an unbelievable list of vice captains that Davis is leaning on and letting us kind of push and talk to and kind of figure out our way of doing things. And Davis is great about kind of staying out of the way a little bit, letting us be a team together and empowering us to go out there and do our jobs. That's what you want as a captain; that's what I think a captain should be like is just give us every opportunity to be successful and that's what Davis Love does.

We're excited about the week, we're excited about what this week can mean for us, and hopefully we can hold up our end of the bargain.

Q. You spoke of Davis's leadership and we keep hearing about what a great leader Phil is. Could you give us some anecdotal examples of how that plays out in the team room?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, you know, Phil is not a leader just this week. He's a leader all year round. He takes time out of his schedule and his days to talk about this week leading up to it. And whether it's playing a practice round with Phil a month ago, him grabbing me and saying, you know, we're going to need you in Chicago and here is why we're going to need -- I'm sorry, in Minnesota, and here is why we're going to need you. And this is why we want you on the team, this is why we think you're a great partner on the team, and going down the list of positive things and telling you that he wants you on this team and he wants you a part of this team.

Little stuff like that, that for guys out here on TOUR, you don't get very often. There's not a lot of people telling you you're great when things aren't going great, you know. A lot of people telling you how bad you are, but not how great you are. We need that. We have our wives that tell us that all the time but we get tired of hearing it. But it's great to have a guy like Phil pull you aside and tell you why; this is why we want you on the team and this is why we are going to need you. Can't put a price on that. That's leadership to me, is being able to take time and do that.

One example, that happens -- there's probably 30 of them with every guy on the team of Phil doing something like that, and that's something you can't teach. That's just, I say, Phil being Phil all the time; that's Phil being Phil, and that's why we love having Phil in the team room.

Q. Do you recall the first time you ever played foursomes and what do you find to be the key to trying to have some success in that format?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: We played foursomes in college some, as a way to grow team bonding and change up the monotony of qualifying for college events, and then going on to play -- obviously the last time I played was The Ryder Cup in 2012.

I think the thing I've taken from it, the thing I enjoy the most about it, is having a partner that you both are 100 percent comfortable with, that you trust completely, that no matter where he hits it or what he says, you know he's 100 percent behind you, and vice versa, you're 100 percent behind him. That's, I think, the key to alternate-shot, is being able to go out there and know that if I hit a snap hook off a hole or I miss a putt, my partner is 100 percent behind me, and that's what makes great partnerships. That's what makes the trust that you need to have in each other.

Q. On a different subject, you spoke with a lot of passion about Bubba and the fact that he's a really good team guy in your mind. The way it's played out, what are your thoughts on having him here?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's great. I think it proves my point to a "T". I know if I was in Bubba's situation, I would not be here. I don't know if I could handle it. Shows you what kind of guy Bubba is. He's a team guy, 100 percent. To take time out of his schedule to come up here and be a part of the team when he could be, rightfully so, upset about not being picked; and he is not. He's 100 percent in. He's 100 percent keeping us joking in the team room with us and being a water boy and a cart boy and whatever else you want to call him, and he loves it. Shows you what kind of guy he is and shows you why I wanted him on the team and why we all wanted him on the team and why we would love having him as a vice captain.

Just didn't work out for obviously numerous reasons, but when you've got a guy like Ryan Moore playing the way he has the last two months of the season, it's hard to tell him he can't be on the team, either.

Everything has a way of working out. I'm a firm believer in that, and I think this worked out for a lot of different reasons the way it should have.

Q. How are you working with Tiger as an assistant captain? Does he come to you? Do you go to him? How does that work?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Both, yeah. He called me two weeks ago, you know, and started talking to me then. We were on the phone for an hour and a half. Called me several times, and that's not -- to say it's unusual to get a call from Tiger Woods would be pretty accurate. I don't get a lot of those calls.

Got to the point where I was joking around, like you're calling me more than my wife is right now, we need to figure something out. But it's great to have that kind of commitment and that kind of passion from a guy like Tiger. I think that's something that gets lost.

Q. What exactly is he coaching you on in terms of -- were you talking about preparation a lot, were you talking about this ownership idea of you being part of the team; is that what he's talking about, or is he talking about the golf game itself and how you play?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: All of the above. We're talking about everything. How we are getting prepared as a team, how I should be getting prepared as an individual, what our thought processes should be, how we are going to come together as a team, why we haven't been successful in the past and why we're going to be successful going forward and things like that.

He's a 100 percent in. He's probably spent more time in the last three weeks on this stuff than all of the other assistant captains put together. That's the kind of guy he is and how much time -- how much he cares about it. It's infectious.

You've got a bunch of vice captains that all are spending numerous hours on end every night trying to figure this thing out and getting together and doing all kind of stuff. And I include Phil in that. Phil to me is a vice captain. He's our sixth vice captain. He's in there 100 percent. That's infectious in the team room, when you have that many guys caring about one common goal and they are the best players of our generation. You'd better believe it's going to motivate the rest of us to make sure we care as much and get our butts in gear and let's get going. You know, tired of losing this thing.

Q. What are the challenges of trying to match up a golf ball for two players, and when did that process begin with you and potential partners of trying to figure out?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, you know, it's a process. It's something that's a big reason why we want to know and have an idea going into our practice sessions, because we want to know how golf balls -- every golf ball is a little bit different. We all dictate our games around our golf ball. Our bags are setup certain ways and our drivers are setup certain ways because our golf balls spin certain ways and do things.

You get in alternate shot and you need to know, his golf ball does this compared to my golf ball, so I can make adjustments going forward. We've already started making adjustments for that, playing with different golf balls throughout the week, and continue that the next two days. I think the biggest thing about preparation is you just don't want to have a wrench thrown in your plans.

You end up falling back to how you've prepared, and if you've prepared right come Friday morning, there's not going to be any surprises when you get up there on the first tee. There's going to be enough stuff to deal with Friday morning; that we don't want to have anything that we don't known, an unknown, hopping in there.

I think we have already started doing it and come Friday morning, we'll all be 100 percent prepared for whatever might be thrown at us.

Q. Have you had a feel yet for how the news of Arnie's death is going to maybe affect the mood and spirit of this Ryder Cup?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: You know, I think we all had a tough Sunday night, you know, everybody on the team. We all talked about it on Monday when we got here. Arnie is the Godfather of modern golf in my opinion. He's the guy, the flag bearer of what we know as the PGA TOUR and what we know of golf in general and what we know of sports in general.

We all have Arnie stories and part of what he is engrained in every one of us. It's been a tough week in that aspect of knowing he's not there anymore. But it's also been a great week in the fact that we have been able to sit there and talk about what Arnie meant to us and bring this whole thing full circle and try understand our role in this whole process and of this grieving process.

The game of golf is grieving. We as fans are grieving. We as people that knew him well are grieving; and how can we grieve together and honor him and show him how much he was appreciated out here, show his family how much he was appreciated.

That's been a tough thing for us to go through and will be a tough thing for us to go through going forward. But he will never be forgotten. He will never be lost. He is a part of us in every way, shape and form. There's a reason I sign my autograph the way I do, there's a reason why I take my hat off when I go into a clubhouse, there's a reason I try to write thank you notes all the time, it's because Arnie does it. He taught me that's what you are supposed to do and how you're supposed to act.

I got home Sunday night and pulled out probably 15 letters Arnie had written to me throughout the years, and saw them on my desk, and all the stuff that he had sent me and spent time on me -- I was a no name guy when he started writing me letters and I realize he's done that for countless number of people. It kind of hit me the time he put into everybody else but himself, and that's going to be something you can't replace.

Q. From your impressions yesterday, is the course playing as long and soft as you'd remember from a place that's gotten 16 inches of rain the last couple of weeks?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, I was really surprised how it was not. It was relatively -- didn't have any mud balls or standing water on the golf course. It's going to be a little rough outside the ropes, but inside the ropes it was in fantastic shape.

I know we got some rain last night, haven't seen it today, but I think a couple days of sun, it should dry out even more. The course is in great shape.

Q. Having been on a previous team and going through the process so far this week, what do you think is the most important thing that the U.S. task force accomplished?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think it accomplished a lot of things, a lot of things that we'll never see or talk about out here. But it's hard to get to where you are going or where you want to go without a plan. And you do it every day in your life, you don't realize you're doing it half the time you're doing it, but there's a plan and a reason why you do everything in your life.

I feel like for the first time -- I haven't been on a lot of them, but there's a plan in place for us to be successful. That's all we're trying to do every week when we set out to play a tournament, whatever it may be, you just want a way to be successful and have a chance on Sunday afternoon.

I feel like The PGA of America has done an unbelievable job, the task force has done an unbelievable job in giving us every opportunity to be success. That's all they can do, as a leading body organization, as something that was tasked to go out there and give us a way to win or find a way to win for us to be successful, they have done an unbelievable job.

I know everybody pokes fun at it and talks about it, as it's this group of guys trying to figure out -- it's been I think unbelievable, positive for us. Going forward I feel like it's a new beginning for the American side of The Ryder Cup. It's great to know you're part of a bigger puzzle, that you're starting something different going forward and we're all in 100 percent.

And once you're a Ryder Cup player, you're always a Ryder Cup player and we all take pride in knowing that starting now we're all building something hopefully special going forward.

Q. How are the emotions, whether they be nerves or excitement or pride, how are they different in The Ryder Cup in comparison to other tournaments?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Can't quantify it. I can't put a number on it or a figure on it or give you an explanation of why or how, but there's something different. There's something tangible in the air. There's something that -- the emotions, the momentum swings, the stuff that happens on the golf course, it's unlike anything I've ever seen, and I've been a part of some big sporting events. I've been to other big sporting events and Ryder Cup is something different. And I can't tell you why or how.

Every player says the same thing. It's different. I can't tell you, the emotions, the chilling moments where you have stuff standing up on the back of your neck for no reason or you hear a roar four holes over with a guy chipping in from off the green or whatever it may be, it creates an aura around this place, kind of like -- I guess the only other place I can think of is Augusta National on a Sunday afternoon when you hear the roars of Augusta. When you hear a Tiger roar or a Phil roar, you know what's going on. This place is like that from the word go, from Friday morning at 7:30 in the morning. It doesn't need Sunday afternoon to get there. That's as close as I can put to saying what it feels like to be a part of it.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you for your time. Please enjoy your week.

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