- Brandt Snedeker has finished in the top 20 in the past three Masters, including a tie for sixth in 2013. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Brandt Snedeker is off to another strong start at his beloved Augusta National after shooting 70 on Thursday. He suffered a one-stroke penalty after his ball moved on the par-5 13th, though.
"The ball was ... on a spot on a hill on the side of the bunker and in the rough," Snedeker said. "It was right on the edge. I couldn't believe it stayed where it did. I took a practice swing and the ball ... just kind of nestled over. Then it rolled an inch or something like that and I had to replace it and take a shot penalty."
Snedeker saved par on the hole. He made five birdies and three bogeys Thursday, including a bogey on No. 18 after pushing his tee shot into trees right of the fairway.
Snedeker first competed at Augusta National as an amateur in 2004 as the reigning U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, finishing 41st. He played in the final group in his Masters debut as a pro (2008), shooting a Sunday 77 to drop to third. His tearful post-round press conference earned him positive attention from those who appreciated his willingness to show his emotions.
Snedeker has finished in the top 20 in the past three Masters, including a sixth-place finish last year. He was tied for the 54-hole lead before shooting a final-round 75. Snedeker has shot 70 or lower in four of his past five rounds at Augusta National; last year's 75 is the lone exception.
"I have a lot of good memories here, I have a lot of good friends here. I love the golf course, and it comes through in my play," Snedeker said. "I have a lot of fun here. I like the challenge of this place and how much pressure it puts on you on every shot."