By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Brandt Snedeker has added something to his night-time routine, and it's not reading an extra bedtime story to his two young children.
No, Snedeker now has to inject a drug called Forteo, which is designed to build bone mass, into his stomach each night. He likens it to taking an insulin shot each day.
"Its, hopefully, long term effects can regrow some of my bone, specifically in my rib cage where they're very, very brittle comparatively speaking to the rest of my bones," Snedeker said. "So they feel like this can maybe increase my bone mass 20 to 30 percent which would get me back to a normal level if I have success with it."
Snedeker said he double- and triple-checked to make sure the drug was approved by the PGA TOUR. He has to keep it refrigerated all the time -- which he calls "probably the biggest pain of my life." He travels with ice packs in his luggage that last 11 hours but says he's yet to figure out the logistics of keeping it cold while flying across the Atlantic Ocean for next month's British Open.
"But it doesn't hurt really at all, and it's something very minor that I do," Snedeker said. "But it hopefully will have long term benefits to me."
Snedeker was the hottest player on the planet at the start of the season -- posting consecutive top-10s before winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He strained the muscles in his rib cage at Pebble, though, and ended up missing a month of the season.
Hence, the series of tests that prompted doctors to recommend the injections. He said his teacher, Todd Anderson, has helped design his swing that functions around his limitations.
"Between having a couple of hip surgeries and now having the problem with my rib cage, we're working on very doable things where I don't have to put a lot of reps in," Snedeker said. "... Just trying to do more playing, get out there and playing nine holes where I'm maybe making 30 swings in nine holes. I can see results really easily out there instead of hitting balls for three hours. That is the philosophy we've taken on it."
Snedeker is excited to play in his home state again this week, adding he feels a special responsibility to the sponsor as the reigning FedExCup champion. The Vanderbilt grad and Nashville resident has played in the FedEx St. Jude Classic six times previously with a tie for fifth in 2007 his best performance.
Snedeker missed the cut his last start at the Memorial Tournament but had two more top-10s in the three before it. He said he's played golf long enough to know there will be ups and downs, and he'd like nothing better than to get on another run like he did at the start of the season.
"Golf does a great job of you get numbers where you feel like you can do no wrong, and you get moments where you feel like you can do no right," Snedeker said. "And golf has an unbelievable ability that the minute you think you've got to figured out, to slap you in the face and show what you reality is. So I realize that. ...
"I'm going to have ups and downs. I've been on a lot of ups and I've kind of been on a downward trend right now. But I really feel like I'm on my way back up again. I feel like I'm on top of this and it's going the right direction. I really think these next couple weeks will be a couple of good weeks for me."