MORE INTERVIEWS: AT&T Pebble Beach transcripts archive
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Brandt Snedeker, 68 in the third round at Pebble Beach today. Comments about the day and how you feel about your position heading into the final round tomorrow.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I played relatively well tee‑to‑green and didn't quite make the putts I wanted to. Day could have been better could, have been a lot worse.
So I feel good about the golf course going forward tomorrow, I feel like I have a good handle on how Pebble is playing and try to use that to my advantage going into tomorrow.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I was a little worried about it. I always try to be a little aggressive there. The more aggressive you get, the more chances you turn that from a par hole into a birdie hole, and I always hate laying back too far. A little close to the edge.
But hit a nice, perfect little 7‑iron in there and was able to be really aggressive at that pin, get it underneath the hole and had a pretty easy putt from there.
And then 9, kind of stealing one there, birdieing 9. Hit a good 8‑iron there. Luckily on those two holes I kept it underneath the hole and had putts at birdies and really had the momentum going and screwed up on 10 with a dumb bogey ‑‑ a little too much. Too many times in a row, I should say, and struggled with that. But that was my only really bad shot of the day was the second shot on 10.
Q. I remember talking to you at The Open last year when you took the lead, and what have you learned from that experience onto this point as far as playing with the lead now?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's definitely a different animal and something that you have to be prepared for. THE TOUR Championship did a great job of letting me ‑‑ how I should handle it and how I need to handle it.
I think when you have a lead, you almost need to be more patient than you typically play and give yourself a little bit more lax, or a little bit more credit for how you have played. Go out tomorrow and just try to play the same way I have the last three days.
The last three days I've been very smart, pick my spots when to be aggressive, play away from certain pins and leave it on the proper side of holes, and I've been doing a pretty good job of that and hopefully I can keep doing that tomorrow.
Q. You've shot in the 60s in all but four rounds this year. How do you explain that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: You know, a lot of it has to do with confidence coming off of last year. Obviously with the FedExCup, THE TOUR Championship, the confidence I gained from there, I definitely took it into this year and realized how good I can be.
Worked on my stuff that I was not particularly excited about with my game at the end of last year, and a lot better this year. My scrambling is a lot better. My proximity from 150 yards and in is a ton better than it was last year and I'm making less dumb mistakes than I did last year, so all of that on top of each other has produced a lot better golf out of me.
Q. Any kind of advantage to play Pebble two days in a row like you will be? And also after what's happened to you the last couple weeks where you've shot ‑‑ played really great golf and finished second, how desperately do you want to win this one?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Obviously you want to win any time you have a chance because you don't know how many times you're going to get that in a year. I've had a couple chances the last couple weeks; haven't been the best chance, and this week, have a great chance going into tomorrow; and you need to capitalize on those chances.
I feel like I have a little bit of an advantage going into tomorrow just because of playing Pebble today. The golf course is definitely playing differently than it did in the practice rounds. Today it was drying out a little bit towards the end of the round, but greens are a lot more receptive than I thought they would be, and chipping the ball is extremely important on the greens because they can do some funny stuff sometimes, sometimes they check up and sometimes they don't and I kind of have a feel for how they are doing that now, so there should not be too many surprises out there tomorrow.
Q. People talk about being in the zone, just wonder as an amateur or pro, have you ever had a stretch like this, and do you feel like just you can get out there and just play magical golf?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I don't think I'm in the zone by any means. Hitting some really horrific shots in the middle of this stretch and I'm able to survive. So I don't feel I'm striping the ball by any stretch of the imagination. I feel like I'm playing very smart golf.
When you hear about Jack Nicklaus or those ‑‑ Tiger Woods in 2000 when he was winning all the time, what they did was managed their golf game very well every day, and it's very hard to do that. And I feel like I've been doing that great the last few weeks. The days I haven't been hitting it great, I've put it in spots where I can minimize my mistakes. The days I have been hitting it good, I've been going after pins and making a lot of birdies.
So I feel like that's what make this is game so great is that when you don't have your A stuff, you can still manage your game around and play some pretty good golf. Hopefully tomorrow I will have my A+ game and won't have to do too much ‑‑ (indistinguishable) ‑‑ need to make a lot of birdies tomorrow.
Q. How ambitious are you? Do you think about being No. 1 in the world and those kind of accolades?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, for sure. I feel like a very real possible at this time. I told people in the last year that's a goal of mine. People probably didn't believe in me and didn't think it's doable, but I think it is and I believe in myself and what I'm capable of.
When you start winning and putting stuff on top of stuff, it becomes very, very possible. Obviously I have some great guys in front of me that are playing some pretty great golf right now but I'm not in control of that. All I can do is go out there and win and put myself in position like I have the last few weeks and all that stuff comes along with it.
Q. When you sat down with your inner circle after missing the cut at the PGA Championship, what is the most valuable thing you took away from that meeting?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: That I have a really good team around me. I've got three guys around me that really care about me and go the extra mile and believe in me a lot more than I believe in myself sometimes, and you need that around you, because sometimes as golfers, you get down on yourself and you get down on everything about you, about yourself and you need people who believe in you 110 percent, even when you don't see it.
We put a lot of great work in right after that. It was a blessing in disguise looking back on it because it gave me a weekend to kind of go home and re‑evaluate where everything was and played great since then. It's been a very good ‑‑ a very fun run for me and a good run for everybody around me.
Q. I've done some exhaustive research which consisted of a couple Internet searches, but even from Nashville or Vanderbilt, I can't find any connection but and the country music industry; are you a country music guy? What country music song best describes your ‑‑
BRANDT SNEDEKER: There's a bunch of them, because I'm feeling both heartache and excitement, I'm sure you can find plenty of them.
I do love country music. Growing up in Nashville, you can't help but do it. I'm a big fan, met Jake Owens on the putting green, Charles Kelly, big fan of theirs; and Vince Gill is a good friend of mine back at home, we play a bunch of golf together. You grow up in Nashville, go to school there, it's hard not to love country music, and I do. So that's something I enjoy going home.
Q. Any songs ‑‑
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No song titles ‑‑ y'all can come up with that for me. Y'all are probably better at that than me.
I play at the Golf Club of Tennessee.
Q. Will you have a specific plan of attack for tomorrow?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yes.
Q. Can it be revealed?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's pretty obvious how you play Pebble. You have to play the par 5s very well. You have to get off to a very good start. First six holes are extremely important. The hard holes, even though I made some birdies on them today, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 can be playing tough at times and 17 are holes that you need to kind of play smart on.
There's no secret here. Everybody knows, first six holes, you have to be aggressive on and make some birdies and after that you have to hang on for a few holes and then get back at it. So that's the game plan for tomorrow.
Q. You talked about the night before THE TOUR Championship that the feeling was: 'I'm going to win; I don't know how, I don't know what the score will be, I'm going to win.'
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yes.
Q. Is that feeling happening very often in a situation like this, and would you expect to be able to conjure that up again?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I don't think it's something that you can conjure up. I wish I could; I'd do it a lot more often. I think it comes with calmness. I think it comes with being okay with your golf game, being okay with where your preparation is, being okay with your setup and how you're going to play on the golf course.
Feel very confident with all of that right now, and you never know what tomorrow holds, but I feel like I'm in great position and I'm going to be surely more prepared, no matter who is around me in the last group; I'm probably going to have the most experience of anybody in that last couple groups of winning a golf tournament. So I'm going to lean on that and use it to my advantage.
Q. You had some driver issues last year. When did you get that sorted out?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: PGA.
Q. How much of a difference has that made for you going into this year?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I'll let you look at the results and tell me. Massively different. End of last year, PGA, it turned one of my weaknesses into one of my strengths and I'm one of the few guys out here, when I hit more fairways, it directly relates into how many greens I hit. So when I hit ten fairways in a round, I'm pretty much going to hit 68 to 75 percent of my greens. So it's a big number for me, if I can hit ten fairways in a round ‑‑ (laughter).
Q. I wanted to ask you, which put that you missed today irritated you the most?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: The last two. The last two really upset me, because I felt like I really stayed patient all day and had done a great job and hit two great shots on the last couple holes.
Those are the kind of putts you need to make to put some room between you and whoever else you're going to be around, because those are big putts, even though they are 7‑footers up the hill, they are the kind of putts we dream about, not too difficult. Hit a poor putt on 17 and 18, I kind of just got (indistinguishable) out by the hole and shouldn't have done it. Those are frustrating because you're playing great.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I don't know, I think I tried to cut that out. I know they are pretty close with those microphones.
Q. Your shot on 14, your third shot to the green was kind of ‑‑ Phil coming off ‑‑
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I tried to do my best Mickelson impression. He has a knack for doing those kind of shots. I have some of those shots ‑‑ because they happen and you don't really have a choice. There's not any option there for me other than trying to hit a massively high flop shot at a tree, that's the only shot I had. I enjoy those shots because you look like a hero or a hero, and that's the way it is. I have fun with those. I tend to pull those off more often than not, so those are a lot of fun.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Brandt, thank you, we appreciate your time.