By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Brandt Snedeker, who has been sidelined with a rib injury since winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in early February, will return to action next week at Bay Hill.
"We're going to go to work and get back after it," Snedeker's coach Todd Anderson said from Sea Island, where Snedeker will arrive on Thursday and spend the weekend.
Snedeker initially felt soreness on the left side of his ribs at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. He underwent treatment, then finished second in back-to-back weeks at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Waste Management Phoenix Open before his win at Pebble Beach, where the injury resurfaced during the opening round.
The FedExCup leader and AVIS Player of the Month for February, Snedeker also plans to play the Shell Houston Open in two weeks.
"We'll just be real careful and make sure we don't go too fast," Anderson said. "We'll spend a lot of time on short game and putting and by Sunday he should be hitting full shots."
Last summer, Snedeker injured the right side of his ribs and missed a month, including the U.S. Open. With the Masters looming, he's been more cautious this time.
Snedeker has been at home practicing his short game the last couple of weeks, according to Anderson, and this year has put more of an emphasis on major championships.
"He's always loved the Masters and felt he could compete there because of the emphasis on short game and putting," Anderson said.
In 2008, Snedeker was two strokes off the lead going into the final round at Augusta National before shooting 77 to finish third. Each of the last two Masters, Snedeker has finished in the top 20.
He has also finished in the top 10 twice at the U.S. Open and last year was third at the British Open.
"He's achieved winning on TOUR, winning the FedExCup and the next step is to compete at and win major championships," Anderson said.
The week after playing in Houston, Snedeker will go back to Sea Island to work with Anderson before arriving at Augusta National the Saturday before the tournament.
Snedeker will play a practice round Sunday of Masters week with friend and Tennessee businessman Toby Wilt, who he teamed with to win the amateur portion of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am earlier this season.