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September 19, 2012

Brandt Snedeker


LAURA HILL:  We'd like to welcome Brandt Snedeker to the interview room.  Brandt, you had a great playoffs and you're in a good position heading into the finale of the FedExCup.  Talk about your expectations for this week and getting into the playoffs?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  It's going to be a great week.  This golf course is one of my favorites we play all year.  Obviously, my main goal this year is getting here with a chance to win the FedExCup, and I've accomplished that.  Now I've really got to focus in on playing great this week.
Rory has been playing great.  Everybody from the Top 5 has been playing great.  So it's going to be a tough week.  But if I get a chance to win the FedExCup, which is what we play all year for, which is going to be a fun week.

Q.  I know you control your own destiny.  Obviously, you win, you win.  But is there an element of flying under the radar for you with all the attention on Tiger and Rory and being paired together?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, definitely.  This is really nice for me.  I cruise in here on Tuesday, and this is the only thing I've got to do all week, so this is nice.  I've got just as good a chance as Rory, even though Rory played great the first two weeks.  If I won this week, doesn't do him a whole lot of good right now.  It's a great feeling to have.  So I have to play well this week, and just kind of hope to fly under the radar until Sunday until I get that trophy, it would be great.

Q.  There's been a lot of talk about intimidation today.  Greg Norman said he thinks Rory intimidates Tiger.  I'm curious in if you think that's true out here, if guys can be intimidated?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  No, I don't think that's true at all.  I really don't.  I don't know where Greg got that comment from.  He's not been out here and seen those guys play together.  I don't think Tiger or Rory are intimidated by anybody.  I think they're just good buddies going at it.  It's fun for the game.  It's been great for TV, I loved watching it and being part of it, so it's fun to watch.

Q.  Are there moments as a player, I remember Torrey Pines when you were in the mix early in your career, are there moments where you felt intimidated on the golf course?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, when you're out here the first time and you're a rookie playing with Tiger Woods on Sunday for the first time, you're going to be a little intimidated and it's going to be overwhelming.  But after being out here for a couple years you realize everybody's out here trying to do the same thing.  I don't think Rory is intimidating Tiger.  I don't think Tiger's intimidating Rory.  I think it's guys playing as good as they possibly can.

Q.  Brandt, you were obviously extremely excited about the Ryder Cup when it came along.  How have you managed your emotions during this period of time and leading into next week?  Are you worried about a letdown given the playoffs and all the pressure that's involved here going into next week?
Yeah, I think last week was great.  Having a week off, and being able to reassess everything, and having a day to realize, accomplish your goal, the Ryder Cup is great, looking forward to being in Chicago, and getting refocused on this week, and practice and prepare like this is the biggest week of my year right now.
I've got some rest, been able to get home and refocus and feeling really good going into this week, and even more so going into next week.  I have a two‑week stretch here where I can do a lot of great things for myself, for my career and experience some stuff I've never experienced before.
So I'm really looking forward to being focused and enjoying it, and making sure I've done stuff the right way the way I've done it all year.

Q.  Could you talk about the 11th hole, tactically, as you approach it?

Q.  Yes, slightly uphill.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  It's a good par‑3.  It's a green where it's tough to miss it, because if you do you're going to have a tough up‑and‑down.  It slopes from back to front, so you're trying to keep the ball below the hole there at all costs.  It's kind of an odd tee shot because you can't see the whole green.  You're kind of shooting on to a blind shot on the front part of the green.
So it's a great par‑3.  It's really narrow at the front and winds out the back.  So you have to make sure you get the right club.  It's tough to have a good look at birdie there.

Q.  What is your view of the 18th hole?  How do you play it?  What do you look out for?  What are the dangers?  How do you like the 18th hole as a par‑3 finishing hole?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I love it.  I love the fact that you can even on a par‑3.  We don't get to do it very often.  This set of par‑3s that we play at East Lake is probably the toughest set of par‑3s we play all year on tour.  I think all four of them are ranked in the top nine toughest holes on the golf course which we don't see very often.
So even 18, the finishing hole, is a very tough hole.  You're trying to put it in the middle of the green, on the lower tier, putt it back to the pin and go from there.  It's such a long hole.  You're hitting a hybrid or 3‑wood in there, if the wind is into you, you're trying to put it into the greens.  It's not really built for a hybrid or 3‑wood.  So you're trying to get yourself a chance for birdie.

Q.  Was'05 your rookie year?

Q.  Back when you first came out here, maybe '06, '05, this tournament was in November.  It had lost a little luster.  Tiger and Phil weren't showing up.  Talk about the evolution of the TOUR Championship being in September, and having so much at stake with how it's been?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I think it's great for the TOUR.  TOUR Championship closes in September.  Great weather this week.  It's going to be beautiful on TV.  Having our best players playing each other the last four weeks of the year is huge.  You can't look at the ratings and tell me it doesn't work, because it does work.
To have Tiger and Rory battling it out, Phil and Rory battling it out.  This week will be another great finish for TV.  It will be great.  This is what the tour was aim to go do.  This is what the TOUR Championship is supposed to represent.
We've got a great sponsor like Coca‑Cola here that has stepped up and made sure this tournament is as prestigious as it can possibly be, and they've done a great job with it.

Q.  Knowing last year Bill Haas won both trophies coming from 25th.  What is your mindset then, being one of the top five knowing that somebody can't sneak in?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, that's definitely a real possibility.  So your main goal, and I think everybody's goal here this week is the same, it's to win.  This is our best chance all year to win a golf tournament.  There are only 29 guys to beat.  You don't have to beat 154.
That being said, the 29 guys here are playing really good golf, so it's going to be tough.  From my position, if I win, everything is taken care of.  It's great.
On the outside looking in, guys that are going to have to have some help, their main goal is to shoot as low as possible.  They're going for broke, so you know you have to play some great golf.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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