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July 16, 2013

Brandt Snedeker


MIKE WOODCOCK: Brandt, thanks very much for joining us. Tied third last year in The Open after a great performance. And you're currently No. 8 in the world. You must be looking forward to this week, links golf again at Muirfield.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's always a special week, especially here at Muirfield. The golf course is fantastic. It's unlike any British I've played in before, where the ball is bouncing everywhere, it's really firm and fast. The course is in fantastic shape. The greens are some of the best I've seen. Last year they were fantastic, but these are just as good. So it's The Open Championship, it's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. We were just talking, you seem to have taken to links golf. What is it about the style of play that seems to suit your game?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's just, I loved growing up watching The Open on TV. I liked how different it was from what I was used to seeing. Playing in a few of them now, I appreciate it. I have a lot more appreciation now than I did the first time I played. I realize the nuances, the different shots you need to hit and how uncookie-cutter this kind of golf is. There's not one way to hit any shot. I love that. It brings out some imagination. It's a lot of fun to play this kind of golf. We don't get to do it very often. So when you do have a chance, I try to enjoy it.

Q. You joked that this is a big turnout for you, given what you achieved last year, FedExCup, and what you've achieved this year, does that frustrate you a little?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Not at all. No, I could care less, to be honest with you. I love flying under the radar.

Q. Last year at Lytham you found a pub that you spent a little bit of time in, have you found anywhere this week that you're enjoying?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I found a couple of spots. I always try to find a spot for the week to have a few pints and enjoy the locals. This turns into kind of a guy's week. You're traveling with your agent, your caddie, your swing instructor, so you end up hanging out with them all week, having some fun and seeing the other guys out there. It's great. It's different for us out here. I normally travel with my wife and young kids. To be at a guy's event where you're having a few pints at night and having a great time, it's fun. Something different.

Q. Have you found a local beer that you like?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: You Scottish guys drink Tennent's. I can't drink the dark beers, but Tennent's is as close as I can get.

Q. I think I know the local you found, but I won't give it away. Are you fully fit? Are you over your problems?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I feel great.

Q. Is there a concern out here with the ground being so hard?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I try not to think about it. No, not any more than normal. I'm tired of feeling like I'm brittle. I'm not brittle. Nothing is going to happen. It's just a matter of keep doing the injections, and making sure I stay up-to-date on that and trying to stay fit. Not doing too much. Can't practice the way I used to or play the way I used to. Kind of take it easy this week. I did all my preparation on Saturday and Sunday really. The next couple of days I'm taking it easy to get ready for Thursday.

Q. (No microphone).
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Not at all. I'm more of a picker, anyway. I don't take big divots or anything like that, so it doesn't really affect me too much.

Q. You said earlier this is a great golf course. What is it, in your opinion, that makes it so special?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Well, it's very straightforward. It's right in front of you. You know when you hit a good shot, you get rewarded. If you hit a bad shot, you're going to pay a penalty. Not saying that's not true with most British golf, but this one seems more so like that. There's not bunkers in the middle of the fairways. There's very defined areas where you need to hit it. How you get the ball in that defined area is up to you. It's a great mix of holes. I chart what I hit in practice round, and I've hit every club in the bag every day. You're hitting driver on some holes. You're hitting 5-irons off the tee on some holes. It's just a really cool mix of holes. And depending on the wind, they can all play completely differently. So it's got a great mix of holes. No hole is a gimme. Even holes like No. 2 that seem like they could be pretty easy, the wind blows up, you hit one bad shot, and you're struggling to make par. I think it's a great test. There's no let-up out there whatsoever.

Q. Obviously links golf is a lot different than the golf you play in the States, is it a hard adjustment for you?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, the first day I think I probably hit it over 80 percent of the greens, trying to land them somewhere near the front of the green, they were one-hopping over the green, and going hard in the rush. It takes you a while to get adjusted how far the ball is running out. I'm realizing that you can't work the ball with the wind here. That's the big thing. In America playing golf, working the ball with the wind is normal. You just kind of work it with it. Over here it's so strong you can't do it. You lose control over it. So I'm getting used to working up against wind and trying to keep the ball in the fairway and keeping the ball low. It's very different.

Q. Adam Scott was 32 when he won the Masters a few months ago. Justin Rose was 32 when he won The Open. You could see where I'm going. Could it be fate?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I've been told about that a few times, and I loved it. The precedent being set, and now the hard part is making sure it keeps going. I'll take any little quirky thing and use it in my favor.

Q. You made it halfway last year, but didn't finish it off. What did you learn from what happened in the final two rounds that you can use this week?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I learned a lot from -- I learned a lot in the last four Majors, really, since then. Playing with Tiger last year on Sunday. I learned a lot watching him play around Lytham. Learned a lot from watching Adam win at the Masters. I learned a lot watching Justin the first two days at the U.S. Open. Just about the patience that's required and the process you have to go through, and how unimportant each individual shot is, but when you add them up they are all extremely important. And finding that delicate balance of how to treat each shot. The hardest thing to do in a Major championship is be patient for 72 holes and never push the panic button. The guy that wins this week will not do that. Never hit the panic button. But there's going to be a lot of guys that do, and it's hard to keep yourself from doing it.

Q. Is the hard part playing links golf adjusting to the fact you're going to get bad bounces?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, the hard part is the patience aspect. Knowing that sometimes you're going to hit a quality shot and not get rewarded, and knowing that there's -- you've got to play a completely different style of golf. You're going to hit shots that go 50 yards off line. I'm sorry, it's just the way it is. You get the ball working with the wind when you've tried to hail it up and it will end up in a horrible shot. Whereas in the States it might be in a bunker or ten yards to the green. Here it's going to be 50 or 60 and there's nothing to stop it. So it's just different. You're going to hit what look like horrible golf shots that really aren't that bad. Being patient enough to realize everybody is going to do it, and it's going to be okay. It's not the end of the world. That's really tough to do because you feel like every shot is so important in the Majors.

Q. Your temperament is not patience. You've said that many times. You play at a quick pace. How do you learn that? How do you learn to slow down for stuff like this?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's just from being in the mix of it and knowing what to expect. I play a quick pace, but there's a difference between playing a quick pace and being patient. Patience for me is not slowing my whole routine now. That's not what will make me play better. I'm not talking about preaching patience, I'm talking about shooting away from pins, taking less club off tees, being more conservative when you want to be aggressive because you made a bogey, not trying to go after pins that you shouldn't go after, trying to make an incredible up-and-down when you might not be able to get it out of the bunker. That's being patient. It has nothing to do with how fast you hit the ball or whatever. It has to do with not letting your previous shot affect you and not letting your position in the field affect what you need to do.

Q. Did you get impatient over the last 36 holes at Lytham last year?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I don't think I did. I just made typical American mistakes. The first two days I had no wind really whatsoever, and played great golf. The last 36 holes I drove the ball horribly. If you do that at any Major Championship, you're going to play terrible. I tried to ride the wind too many times. I tried to not play against the odds, you've got try to hold the ball up against the wind. Little stuff like that. And I was putting so well, I was trying to get it on the greens and give myself chances. I just failed to hit the ball in the fairway. I wasn't impatient, but I just failed to execute the basic shots off the tees.
MIKE WOODCOCK: Thanks so much. Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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