WM Phoenix Open interview: Brandt SnedekerFebruary 02, 2013
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Brandt Snedeker shoots 6-under par 65. You're in at 18 under, but Phil has a little bit of a gap there. A few general thoughts about the round.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I played really solid today. I made a few mistakes but managed my game really well. I made some good putts when I needed to. Unfortunately I have a lot to do tomorrow.
Phil is playing pretty unbelievable right now. And 18 under par for three rounds is pretty good. Unfortunately for this week it's not. I have to go out there tomorrow and shoot something low and try and put some pressure on him. That's what it boils down to.
Q. Are you kind of used to that on the TOUR? You're 18 under par and barely in the rear view mirror of the leader?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Seems to be a common case lately between Tiger in San Diego and Dustin was playing so well at Honda. Seems every week somebody is going really low. And Scott at Palm Springs.
It's kind of the way the golf course is right now. It's in great shape, no wind. If you are a driving the ball well and rolling it well, you will make a lot of birdies. Phil is notorious for doing that when he's on a run.
Tomorrow I will need to go out tomorrow and birdie three or four of the first five or six and try and put some pressure on him.
Q. Is it almost liberating when you're five or six strokes behind? You can cut loose?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I definitely will be a lot more aggressive tomorrow than I normally am just because 5 under par is not going to do it. I will have to go at some pins and make some putts early and be more aggressive than I probably normally would be. That's kind of the way the golf course is playing right now. You're not going to make up much ground shooting 4 under par. You need to go out there and shoot low.
Q. It's not very common for people to go wire to wire on the PGA TOUR. Why do you think that is
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think it's a couple different reasons why that happens. One, it's very taxing, fatiguing on you, mentally and physically to be in the lead and really have all the obligations and pressures you have to handle all week.
Two, in a course of 72 holes, it's rare for a guy not to have a bad nine holes. You're going to have a bad nine. I can think of a few instances where they haven't, but for the most part you will have a stretch where your stuff doesn't go in or you get a few bad breaks.
I guess Phil hadn't gotten that, or if he had, he played right through it. Hopefully I got mine out yesterday, and I will go out tomorrow and get some breaks going early.
Q. Did you have something in mind today that you wanted to try to shoot to try to catch up with Phil
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, my main goal was to get in the last group, make sure I get in the last group with Phil. That way if I did get hot tomorrow and make some birdies, he could see it firsthand. That was my main goal.
Then I can't really control Phil. He's shooting 5 under again today. That's par for him. I'm going to have to go shoot a 7, 8, 9 under par tomorrow to try to do something.
Q. How crazy can you afford to get?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Very crazy. You know, I'm not playing for 2nd. I have already had one of those this year. You play to win, and I'm going to try to win tomorrow.
Q. In the back of your mind, are you thinking he's got to come back some?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No. I mean, you think he might cool off a little bit, but I have seen Phil win by 11 before, so I don't think that that mentality is going to happen tomorrow.
I think for me to be there, I'm going to have to shoot a 9 or 8, 9, 10 under par, which you can do on this golf course. You just got to do the small stuff well to do it.
Q. You played behind his group the first two days. Can you speak to just how beloved he seems to be out here?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it's unbelievable. He is kind of the first son of Phoenix, it feels like.
People love being around him, and he deserves everything he gets because he gives it back to them. He makes them feel like they're a part of the tournament and a part of what he's doing. He does a great job with them.
He was out there last night or yesterday signing for an hour after the round. Probably the only guy who did it. He deserves all the credit and attention he gets, because he's one of the few athletes that I have seen that really puts it back to the fans. He does an unbelievable job with that.
Q. In that sense you're kind of the visiting team here.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I am. Very much so. (Laughter.)
Q. People will be rooting for you but not nearly as much as for Phil.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, I have no illusions tomorrow who they want to win this golf tournament, which is perfectly fine.
Q. I realize it depends on pin positions, but are there holes that you would play less aggressively
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think 13, 15, and 17 are three pivotal holes. You have to be aggressive and try and make birdies and eagles. You can make bogeys and doubles as well.
Those are three holes I think starting today I have to play those three holes really, really well and put those key holes in the round. I won't hit the panic mode until those holes play tomorrow.
Q. Are there any that don't give you a payoff?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: 11 is an example of a tough hole where probably birdie is not an option, but you might have to push the button a little bit tomorrow.
There is a few others, you know, No. 7, par 3, depending on where the pin is. There are a few holes where you're trying to get by with par that you might have to go after tomorrow.
Q. Wasn't it like two or three years ago when you were leading after 36 holes
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I was, yes. I think it was three years ago. I think it was 2009 I shot 78 in the last round, I think.
Q. How hard is it to stay aggressive when you see him keep making birdies
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's tough. Phil can give you that feeling. No matter what you do, you're not going to catch up just because of the way he plays. He can get after just about any pin. His short game is so good that even when he does make a mistake, he still can get out of there with par.
He's a very dominant player when he gets in the lead. That being said, you know, we all have instances where we don't play our best. And he's played unbelievable so far, but you never know what might happen tomorrow.
Q. One question, going back last year, winning at the end of the year, even though you didn't get it in one lump sum, what's it like to digest $11 million in one day
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's crazy. I think that's an understatement. That's something you don't know what to expect or do with. It's just a weird thing. I'm still figuring out how to deal with it and the best ways to go about managing whatever it is that comes out of it.
Q. I guess you probably aren't going to do your own taxes this year?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No. I leave that to people who are a lot smarter than me. (Laughter.)
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thank you very much. Good luck tomorrow.