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November 28, 2012

Brandt Snedeker


JOHN BUSH:  We'd like to welcome Brandt Snedeker into the interview room here at the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual.  What a year, FedEx champion and now making your first start here at Sherwood.  Just comment, recap the season for us.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, it's been a crazy year needless to say, to have two wins and win the FedExCup was obviously a huge, huge year for me, career year so far, but that being said, I look forward to ‑‑ I told people at the beginning of the year it was going to be the best career of any year, and some people probably didn't believe me but I knew it would, and it ended up being, and I really feel like next year is going to be even better because I don't see any reason why it can't get better.  I'm not trying to do anything different next year, not trying to reinvent the wheel, so look forward to the start of my next year and looking forward to kind of getting this week started off tomorrow and hopefully have even a better next year.

Q.  At No.3, would No.1 in the world be a goal of yours?  I know the guy sitting up there at No.2 is pretty good, but can you talk about that process for you and what that would mean?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, it's very doable.  It's very doable.  It's something that, look where I jumped from in the World Ranking this year, getting to where I am, having another year like this year next year and I can really up there and have a chance.  The whole deal with that is you've got to be consistent; to get to No.1 in the world you've got to be more consistent.  You look at the way Rory is playing right now, he's not only winning, but he's giving himself a chance to win almost every week, and that's huge, being there, and you see guys are consistently playing well.  That's what you have to do to be No.1 in the world.
So that's what I've been working on is trying to make my swing, make myself a little bit more consistent week in week out, tailor my schedule so I can be fresh every time I tee it up, and hopefully that will lead to a vast improvement coming up next year.

Q.  Do you ever have to pinch yourself, FedExCup champ striving for No.1 in the world?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Not really.  I mean, it's been a crazy year, but you take it all stride.  This is what you've worked for since you were five years old, and if you get all about that moment you're going to back up.  You've got to realize that this is what you're working for, everybody out here is doing the same thing, and if you don't believe in yourself, you're not going to get there.  So I fully believe, I have a roadmap, a plan of attacking this next year and trying to get to No.1 in the world, and look forward to trying to execute it.

Q.  You've talked about the anchoring situation.  You're a good putter.

Q.  You're all in support of the governing bodies.  My question to you as a good putter is do you have any sympathy to the everyday golfer who says, well, this rule is really being implemented for you guys, the pros, and maybe even say‑‑ is there discussion that should be taking place where the rules are split?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  You know, I do have sympathy for all golfers because we all struggle at times.  So I don't have any more sympathy for somebody that putts bad than somebody that putts good.
You know, I understand how amateurs might feel like this was done for the pros.  I know it's not done for the pros.  This rule has not been made because three guys won majors; this rule has been made because there's a generation of golfers who have never had a short putter and is that the way the game of golf is supposed to go.  That's not up for me, Keegan Bradley, me, Brad Faxon to decide.  I wish it was because it would be an easy decision for me.  So I think‑‑ I say this all the time, we as Tour pros, we all think we're very, very smart.  We're not when it comes to governing the game of golf.  We have no clue how to do that.  The USGA and the R&A do.  Peter Dawson and Mike Davis are extremely intelligent people.  They know what they're doing when it comes to the game of golf.  I trust them implicitly, 100 percent, whatever they decide to do, and I think that's the way the game of golf should be.
And I think the guys on TOUR should fall in line with that rule.  I don't think there should ever be two sets of rules.  The PGA TOUR has never done that.  I don't see that happening any time soon.  So I don't think that's a good model for how the TOUR should run.
Separately from the USGA and the R&A, they've never done it, and I don't see them starting to do it now.

Q.  Last year when Bill Haas won he was here, we asked him was there sort of a moment where you logged into a bank account and went, whoa, there's a big number there, and he didn't really have that moment.  Did you have that moment of some kind, or did it sort of hit of all of a sudden?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I never check my bank accounts, and I checked it the day it was supposed to hit, and I had to text that I had to send to Tim to make sure it didn't hit, what's going on.  But no, I checked it the day it hit, and it was just crazy.  It doesn't sink in.  It still hasn't sunk in, and it's two months later, and it hasn't sunk in.

Q.  Some of your Ryder Cup teammates have come through here in the last couple days and they still clearly are dealing with the disappointment of what took place.  Can you talk about from your perspective it was your first Ryder Cup experience, what that was like and dealing with the subsequent disappointment?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  It was definitely tough.  I'm glad I had some time off after that.  It was a tough loss.  It was tough for me especially just because of winning the FedExCup the week before, I was so excited and didn't really get to enjoy it at all and straight into the Ryder Cup and to have that as probably one of the worst defeats of my career, one of the low points of my career on that Sunday night just because it was everything you dream of and such a storybook writing, and then to have it fall the other way at the end was kind of tough.  It's still tough to think about and talk about, but those make you stronger as golfers, those make you all‑‑ we can all sit and commiserate about it when we're around each other and we still can't believe that it happened, but it did, and there's no changing it, but it's been tough, yeah, it's been a tough couple months.

Q.  Do you think about it every day or every other day, and what do you think about?  What comes back to your mind first?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  You have moments.  You know, funny you remember moments of each day and each match, and you have moments of‑‑ yeah, I think about it probably every day or every other for sure.  It will come up about ‑‑ just seems so fresh in everybody's minds, you're signing a Ryder Cup flag or somebody mentions the Ryder Cup when you see them and brings it all back.  So it's just kind of been tough to get over.
I don't think you ever want to get over that; nobody here wants to just move on and say it's okay because it's not okay.  You want to remember that and use that for motivation the next time you get in the situation you can overcome it and go to the other side of it.

Q.  Just to elaborate on what you said earlier, what did you learn about yourself and about the TOUR and about the golf this year that helped you have your best year and that will help you going forward next year?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I learned a lot not only about myself, the difference between guys that are the elite guys on TOUR, the guys that are top 5 in the world every year it seems like and have a chance to win majors and have won a bunch, the Tigers and the Phils and those guys, they are mentally so much better than anybody else.  Physically they're very gifted, but mentally is where they're really, really special, and I think between your ears are what makes guys elite, makes them elite.  And this year is the best year I've had mentally, just the way I've thought, the way I've prepared, the way I never gave up, the way the kept thinking something positive is going to happen, and I had the best year of my career.  I guess if I can do that again next year, it's going to get better.

Q.  For future stuff, two years in a row we've had some crazy things happen on the 10th hole at Augusta.  Can you just tell me if somebody just came to earth for the first time what would you tell them about the 10th hole at Augusta, what makes it special, what makes it great?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  It's extremely special because people don't understand the elevation change on that hole; from tee to green you're probably down 50 or 60 yards.  It's a tougher tee shot than people give it credit for.  They think you can just bang it down there and hit an 8‑iron on the green but it's not.  We as golfers don't like working the ball really, really big amounts, just big‑time curve on 10, you really want to tee it over there and you've really got to curve it big or else you're going to be in trouble.
It's just kind of a throwback hole where you've really got to sling one out there if you're a righty or hit a big cut and get in play.  And the second shot is a very, very tough shot; there's really nowhere to miss it.  You've got to put it on the green.  You can't miss it in the right bunker, you can't miss it left, can't miss it short, so it's just a demanding hole, and it starts a demanding stretch of holes between 10, 11, 12 and 13, and you know if you bogey 10 you've got 11, which is tougher than 10, and you've got 12 which can be a disaster hole coming.  So if you get off a bad start on 10, it makes it even worse.  10 is a very pivotal hole when it comes to that tournament.

Q.  How have you played it?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I've played it pretty good in the past.  I don't think I've ever had‑‑ I shouldn't say that, I made a couple there two years ago, so I have made a disaster there.  But it is‑‑ it's just a tough hole, it really is, one you kind of overlook sometimes when you're looking at the golf course, and it jumps up and bites somebody every year.

Q.  How did you make the triple?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Hit it right of the bunker on 10, tried to go at a back right pin, kind of overdid it, put it right of the bunker, it was in a hole of a spot and kind of whiffed one and chipped it up and three‑putted and flew it in there and made triple bogey and Masters was pretty much over on Saturday afternoon.  I was in pretty good shape and it kind of killed me for the Masters ended up finishing 15th or 16th or something like that, but that was just a killer.

Q.  You talked a little bit about the crazy year for you and certainly your first win last year or this year down in San Diego would fall into that category.  It's almost been a year now.  Talk a little bit about maybe what that win did for you moving forward this year.  I know you talked about the injury.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, exactly, gave me a bunch of confidence to know that I was back, 100 percent back from my injury, and also any time you can win over the year it gives you a lot of confidence going forward.  You know you've got‑‑ you don't want to say cushion, but you're going in the right direction.  You don't have to make any changes.  There's no doubt in your mind you're doing everything right; just keep doing it.
That was a huge bonus; it was not a tournament I was thinking I could win Sunday afternoon, but it was a tournament that kind of turned my way luckily, and unfortunately for Kyle but fortunately for me as really propelled me to the year I had.

Q.  You mentioned after the FedExCup that you were the person that least needed to win that kind of money.  I know it's only been a couple months, but has there been any definitive plans?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  Yeah, we started a foundation, me and my wife have, which is great.  We're going to use it to help kids, underprivileged kids, needy kids in Nashville, so we are kind of starting with broad strokes trying to make it more specific as we find and really look at different things we can do with it, not spend a penny of it, don't plan on spending any of it.  It's just kind of to go through charities and really try to help people.
I haven't‑‑ it's not going to change me one bit.  It hasn't changed anything we've done.  I'm still flying Southwest Airlines everywhere and driving a beat‑up car.  My door handle fell off my car the other day and I'm not buying a new car.  Nothing has changed.  I don't plan on changing anything.

Q.  What kind of car do you have?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I have the same car since I've turned pro, a GMC Denali.  It's a great car, but it's just getting old.

Q.  Back when you were still amateur or maybe when you were still just early pro years, when you would maybe seek exemptions, did you have any experience where to this day you can't really figure out why a tournament did not accept you?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  No, no, I never‑‑

Q.  What was your experience with the exemptions?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I had a great experience.  There was one tournament that didn't give me a sponsor exemption, and that was the Hilton Head tournament.  Steve Wilmot, who I still give him a hard time about, he's one of my close friends, and he couldn't.  He had too many local guys for some reason that year that were either conditional or whatever it was, and he just couldn't make it happen, and that happens every year.  That's the one thing about sponsor exemptions you can never get upset about is it's out of your control.  You can try, and I've had guys that gave me sponsor exemptions that I haven't been able to play their tournament since, and I feel terrible about it.  Houston gave me a sponsor exemption, and I think I've played there twice since I've been a pro.  I feel awful because Steve Timms helped me out when I was amateur or when I first turned pro and haven't been able to return the favor.  I know I will because I still feel indebted to him.
But just stuff like that.  I really appreciate the guys that did it.  I still see them all the time and I really thank them a lot for doing it.  But I've never really had a bad experience with it at all.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  There's definitely a bigger possibility of playing there just because of the new date, and Steve is a great guy, and they run a great golf tournament.  Houston, the golf course should if anything set up really well for me, so that's something I'll have to look at.

Q.  I know your second child was born last month, so your wife would have been pregnant and you would have had a small child, and you had mentioned about how you're focused mentally on playing the best, but you had a lot going on in your life.  How do you explain?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  I guess I do better when I have a lot of distractions.  My dad had some health problems, I had one kid, then I have another kid now, I've got two kids at home, so my wife is on wit's end right now because she's got two kids at home, I've been on the road a lot recently, so she hasn't been sleeping a whole lot, and she's been solo with it, so it's been tough.
I guess I do better when I have distractions to pull me away from the golf course, things to keep my mind off what I'm doing, and luckily when I get to the golf course it feels like a break where I can go and focus for two hours, three hours, whatever it is.  When I'm away, I'm away; I've got other stuff I've got to deal with.  So it's been really good, and I just need to realize next year when stuff gets maybe a little too intense that this is the way I need to be.  I need to have stuff going on away from the golf course for me to be successful, I think.

Q.  I was afraid to ask you this during the Ryder Cup week for fear of jinxing you, but how worried were you that your wife would go into labor that week?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:  You know, it's funny, it was Sunday afternoon she started having contractions and didn't tell me, and it was pretty close.  I mean, it was funny, all the wives on our team were telling her I needed to sit down, don't do anything, we don't need the baby coming, and they were all telling me at the end we were so worried she was going to have the baby this week, because she was eight and a half months pregnant, and we ended up having the baby a week later pretty much is when it came.
I was worried about it, but she was a trooper and she never told me she was in any pain and said it was great, she was having fun, and she told me after we got home that she was having contractions on Sunday a little bit and kind of freaked me out a little bit.  She didn't go to the closing ceremonies; she was in bed pretty much all day.
You know, it's just one of those things you deal with.  Looking back on it, it would have been funny if we had had him at the Ryder Cup.  It wouldn't have been funny if I was there, but right now it would have been funny to look back on it.  You know, it's part of growing up, I guess, you deal with that kind of stuff.
JOHN BUSH:  Brandt, congratulations again on a great year.  Keep it going this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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