What they said: Brandt SnedekerJanuary 29, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Farmers Insurance Open transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: We'll try this again. Better circumstances this time.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Round two, yeah.
DOUG MILNE: 2012 Farmers Insurance Open Champion, Brandt Snedeker. Congratulations on the win. Huge victory for you. Third win on the PGA TOUR, and with the win, you pick up 50 FedExCup points and move to number two on the list. Obviously, a crazy day. Talk about the week overall and how you're feeling and we'll take some questions.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's a crazy day is about right. I went through a whole range of emotions over the last two days, let alone in the last hour and a half to be sitting where I am. I was sitting in here literally an hour ago wondering if I was -- completely content with a second place finish. Thought I played well and I was happy with where I was.
Then Kyle hit the water on 18, and it piqued my interest a little bit. I still thought he would get up and down or make double and still win.
Then when I had the second chance, I really had to get myself refocused and realize that this tournament is anybody's now, now that I was in the playoff. If anybody had an advantage, I did, because I had done that a couple times before.
I had won in a playoff on TOUR, and I know Kyle probably wasn't in his best frame of mind at that point after doing what he did on 18.
So I really refocused. I played great in the playoff. Hit one bad tee shot on 18, and made a good putt on 18 for birdie, hit a great 5-iron on 16. I thought it was going to be right next to it. It ended up going over, but made a great putt there on those greens.
I'm just floored right now. I had no idea I was going to be in this room right now for a second time. So I'm so excited.
Q. Were you still in here when he went in the water??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yes.
Q. Were you watching it??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: The TV was on, and I saw him hit it in the water much I stood up and said if he hit this is on top, I might need to go down there, and he hit it on top of the ridge, so I beelined it down there.
Q. Does your heart go out to him at all? He was in here weeping. It was really obviously a devastating way to lose.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: For sure. Anybody that's been in that position -- I haven't quite done one like that yet, but I've had a couple where I really had some devastating finishes. You never want to see anybody go through that. I don't care who it is, not even your worst enemy on the planet.
Golf is such a funny game, and to have that kind of lead coming into the last hole and not to win is tough. It will be a tough night for him.
But he's an unbelievably talented player, and the sky's the limit for him. And I hope he does not beat himself up too much over this. He should learn from it. I wouldn't be surprised if he's contending again really soon.
Q. Did you temper your celebration at all in the end??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I did. I told him I was sorry. There was nothing else you can say. You feel bad for anybody to go through that. Of course, I did, yeah.
Q. His press conference here was reminiscent of your press conference at The Masters. What was that like for you afterwards when you went through that? Were you embarrassed at all that you showed that much emotion?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, I wasn't embarrassed. The biggest thing that beat me up that night was just the way I played that day. I never -- I don't think anybody should feel embarrassed about showing their emotions. I think that's part of who you are. That's how much we care about it.
If he didn't show his emotions, I'd be a little shocked. I'm sure that was a pretty tough way to lose a golf tournament. He's going to have a tough night. There is no way around it. But he can be better from it.
The thing I hope he doesn't do is dwell on it. I hope he moves past it pretty quick.
Q. Seeing the tape of you in here is really funny, because you look at the TV like 25 times. What were the butterflies? Were the butterflies rising and rising the more you watched the TV?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, because when he hit it in the water, I stood up and started pacing around a little bit. I was thinking -- I was trying to work out ways of how can I end up in this playoff? What can he do from here for me to end up in this playoff. Then he hit it on top, and I thought that's not an easy two-putt. Sunday, trying to win your first tournament, a lot of stuff can happen. That's when I decided I better get down there and hit a few putts to go down there.
Q. You were almost too polite. You got up to leave at one point and then you sat back down.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I was like, should I? I waited until he hit that pitch shot, the fifth shot, if he got it in the same quadrant he could two putt it and go on. But when he got it up top, it was a tough two?putt.
Q. Are you surprised his ball spun back that much and went down into the water??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Not necessarily, no, because a guy that hits it that far puts a lot of spin on the golf ball. Even though it was a three quarter shot, you've seen guys do it there before. You kind of know the situation. Both times I had perfect lob wedge numbers, and I hit my gap wedge because I knew I'd spin it too much if I hit my lob wedge.
Still, that being said, it's an unfortunate break to have that happen. If he hits a hard spot on that green, and it skips up and comes back down, he's right next to the hole. Especially when you're coming down the stretch to win the first time, your nerves are kind of shot anyways. That's just a tough way to do it. He actually did hit a quality golf shot in there.
Q. What were you thinking as you were walking to your shot? After you hit your second shot on the first playoff hole and you saw the big old clump of grass? How carefully did you pull it?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I made sure Mark was right there so he could see. It looked really bad walking up to it. I thought it was going to be right next to it. I thought it was going to be one of those tough breaks that you have to try to figure out a way to get it on the green.
But luckily it had a quarter of an inch space where I didn't think it was touching it. And I said, you know what? I've got to pull it. There is no way I can leave that divot there. It's coming out. If it moves, it moves. There's nothing else I can do.
Fortunately, I hit a good shot in there. I took the nerves out of it. Those putts are not falling on Sunday afternoon, so you try to get them as close as you can.
Q. You were 9?behind after two holes. Was there any way in your mind you were thinking win this thing?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I've got kind avenue an M.O. of doing this. Being out of it and coming out of nowhere to win. So I never gave up hope. I realize there are a ton of golf holes out there, a lot of bad stuff can happen, and I just??
Q. But nine??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Nine, you've got to keep plugging. You just never know. My favorite saying is play like the four horse in the five race, blinders on, full steam ahead. You never know what can happen.
Q. Could you have played the shot off the divot if it had been touching it??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I could have played it. I don't know what happened.
Q. What club did you hit on 16 in the playoff??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I hit a 5?iron.
Q. What kind of surprise/break was that to hop over the green exactly where it did??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it was surprising. I hit the same club in regulation, and I hit it really good. And it was just past pin high. And I took a little bit off of it that time, and hit it pretty good again and it flew over. Wind gust, I don't know, but it was a great shot. I wasn't too upset with the way I hit it.
Q. The tower helped you??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: The tower helped me out. It could have gone in the water I guess, I don't know. Or in the hazard back there.
But just hit a great pitch shot, and those putts are tough. You've got to hit them hard and firm and hopefully they hang in there, and mine did.
Q. Was it a big advantage for you to putt first on 16 and kind of --
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, not really. You know you've got to make that putt regardless if he putted first or not. It played easier because I knew I had to make it. If he missed it, I might have given myself a little less grief over that putt. But no, I wouldn't say it's an advantage.
Q. It is so strange talking to you right after you filled out your scorecard. We were talking about how finishing second is great and all this. Are you going to be shaking your head for the next few days like what the heck just happened??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I know we talked, my caddie and my wife and I talked about it, and we still couldn't believe that this happened. Literally, complete 180 of emotions, 180 of everything. It still hasn't sunk in. It won't sink in for a couple of days.
Q. Follow?up to that, from a fan standpoint, they look at this game and say that is a tainted win. It's so hard to win on this TOUR. Respond to that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: If anybody wants to see the trophy, it will be at my house the rest of my life. It's not a tainted win. Winning out here is hard to do. There have been a lot of guys that have had trouble closing out. And I'm sure Kyle will end up winning plenty of golf tournaments in his career. He's got that kind of talent. He'll look back on this one day and realize it's probably a good thing for him.
Q. After The Masters, did you have players talk to you after and just kind of give you support??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I did.
Q. Obviously, you say sorry to Kyle, but he probably doesn't understand what's going on. Are you going to say something to him next time you see him??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I would love to.
Q. Would you give him support??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I would love to talk to him and give him support. Not because I'm sitting where I'm sitting. But as a fellow golfer, you never like to see anybody go through that. It will be a tough one for him to stomach for a while, and hopefully when he gets in that situation again, he'll know what went wrong this time that he can fix it next time.
Robert Garrigues did it a couple years ago. He lost, blew a big lead and won later in the year. I look for Kyle to do the same thing. He's got unbelievable talent. The guy's going to be good. I feel bad it had to happen to him, but I'm very fortunate it did.
Q. How long did it take to you get over your disappointment at The Masters that year??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: A while. It's hard to put a time on it. I played good at the U.S. Open later that year. But that was such -- for my second year on TOUR, to be thrown into that kind of situation on Sunday and have a chance to win The Masters and it's a tournament I love more than anything on the planet, and to lose and lose pretty bad, to shoot what I did on Sunday was tough.
I guess like everything else, you kind of grow out of it. I finally got to the point where I realized I still finished third. Wasn't the worst thing that happened to me. Maybe better. I'm more prepared for that situation again.
Q. I tried to remember. You were all over the map that day. Behind and making a run, et cetera, et cetera??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah.
Q. Have you ever lost a big lead? You can go back to college, if you want.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: There have been a couple times. I wouldn't say I've ever lost a big lead on Sunday, no. I think I was tied for the lead going into the last round in Phoenix a couple years ago and shot a 77 or 78, so it's not doing it on the last hole.
But it's a gut-wrenching feeling to feel stuff kind of slipping away. Feel stuff leaving you. It's not fun. I feel bad for Kyle. I know he feels awful right now.
Q. What's he learned from this??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Hopefully he looks back and looks?? I didn't see how he played the 18th hole. I just saw the fifth shot. But hopefully he goes back and slows the process down a little bit, realizes that there are certain situations you do stuff, and certain situations that you don't.
Not to change your game plan too much even though you're up by 3. I heard he had a chance to go for the green in two and chose not to. I don't know if he could have or not. I didn't see where he was.
I think maybe how he played the third shot differently, kind of realizing where you are, what you need, what you need to do, what you can't do and try to overcome that. All the while trying to breathe properly and making sure you don't faint. It's a pretty tough thing to go through.
Q. Focusing on the accomplishment, what does it mean this year? You went through the surgery. It's early in the year. How are you going to feel about that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I feel fantastic. I feel awesome. I feel like I did everything right in the off-season. The surgery was a success. I did it the right way. I made sure I was healthy before I came back. This gives me a great position to try to get on the Ryder Cup team, which is my main goal for this year.
I'm looking forward to having the best year of my career. I fully believe this is going to be the best year of my career.
Q. How about putting your name on this trophy? Such a great tradition, the Woods and the Mickelsons and way back. What does that mean?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It means a ton. Any time you put your name on any trophy it's a huge bonus. But for me this is kind of where my career started on the PGA TOUR. It's kind of gotten my confidence and my feet wet in that kind of situation. I kind of always had the feeling I would win here or had a chance of winning here. I honestly didn't think it was going to happen today, but it feels great.
Q. I'm curious what the emotions are like compared to Hilton Head which that was most recent where you fought your way back in and had a great playoff with Luke. Compared to this??
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's different. It's different. It's definitely different. At Hilton Head I felt like I really earned it. I was right there in the middle of it and really did it.
This one you kind of say you backed into it. I kind of backed into this one. I think everybody would agree this was Kyle's tournament to win or lose. You never like winning a tournament that way. But you do like winning (smiling).
I hate for Kyle to go through this, but I'm also the guy that gets to receive this championship, which I'm more than thrilled about, and this is just a great feeling.
DOUG MILNE: Brandt, congratulations. Appreciate your time.