Brandt Snedeker has played just four rounds on TOUR since winning the AT&T Pebble. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM staff
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- You see the smile. The outgoing personality. Brandt Snedeker never has a mean word for anybody, right? Always positive, always cheerful, right?
OK, maybe not this week. Not while preparing for the Masters.
"I'm on edge," Snedeker said Tuesday, "and I will not be off edge until I hit the first tee shot."
Snedeker, who enters Augusta National ranked No. 2 in FedExCup points after a fast start to the season, has made 21 career starts in majors. The closest he's come to winning is a tie for third at the 2008 Masters and at last year's British Open.
At age 32, he's learned how to pace himself during a hectic week at a major, but particularly at Augusta National when even playing a practice round, he said, "is taxing."
That's why Snedeker's support group knows to give him a wide berth.
"It's an edgy week," he said, "Everybody kind of handles me with kid gloves this week and gives me a little extra slack because you're on edge and try to keep the distractions to a minimum."
"If you ask my caddie, my teacher, I have a very short string this week. ... I think every professional golfer has it. We have a way of venting to the right people. I don't want to vent to my wife, so I vent to my agents, I vent to my caddie, I vent to the people that I can that really have to sit there and take it and can't really give me anything back."
One thing Snedeker doesn't have to stress about is his healthy.
After winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and finishing second or third in three other starts, Snedeker was sidelined with a strained intercostal muscle in his rib cage. He returned at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard but missed that cut and also his last start at the Shell Houston Open.
But he said Tuesday that he's 100 percent healthy, and he hopes the forced time off will prove beneficial.
"I'm as fresh as I can ever remember being for a Masters," he said, "and it's hopefully going to pay dividends on the weekend."