July 18 2013
Brandt Snedeker, No. 3 in the FedExCup, made six birdies Thursday. (Redington/Getty Images)
Brandt Snedeker finds himself in contention at The Open Championship once again. Snedeker was the 36-hole leader at this event last year with a tournament-record-tying 130 (66-64) total. He’s two shots off the lead after one round this year after shooting 68 Thursday on a firm, fast Muirfield layout. Snedeker had six birdies, a double-bogey and a bogey Thursday.
“I drove the ball really well, for the most part, … and made a lot of putts,” he said. “I putted fantastic, a good recipe for the rest of the week. If I can get my irons where I want them, they were a little off today, it should be a pretty good week.”
Snedeker is 32 years old, the same age as the winners of the year’s first two majors, Adam Scott and Justin Rose. He’s in contention to join them as first-time major winners in 2013. Last year’s good play at Royal Lytham & St. Annes was a valuable learning experience for Snedeker. He shot 73-74 on the weekend to finish four shots behind winner Ernie Els. He said he made “typical American mistakes” on the weekend. He’ll have ample opportunity to put those lessons to use, as Muirfield will require the traditional ground game that links courses deman.
“It’s foreign to see 2-irons go 300 yards,” Snedeker said. “You really have to be wary of how you’re shaping the golf ball and what shot selections you’re using into the greens. It’s going to get tougher. It’s not going to be hunky-dory for 72 holes. You’re going to play some bad golf and find a way to survive. No matter how patient you think you’re staying, you can never stay too patient.”