RBC Canadian Open interview: Brandt Snedekertext sizeJuly 27, 2013
DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Brandt Snedeker after a wonderful 9‑under 63 today in round 3 of the RBC Canadian Open. You're making your fifth start here, and I believe you finished tied for fifth the last time we were at Glen Abbey in 2009. Without further comments, I'll turn it over to you for some comments on the round.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, today was obviously a great day. I knew I was playing really well after yesterday and just kind of got some bad breaks during one stretch yesterday and went out there today and hit a lot of quality shots, gave myself a lot of good looks at birdies and obviously made a bunch of putts. When you do that, you're going to shoot a low score, and I was able to do that.
I was disappointed with the way I finished on 17 and 18 not getting one there, but with the way everything kind of flipped everything with Hunter leaving, there's a great chance to win this golf tournament tomorrow, which is nice.
Q. At what point did you recognize something had happened and Hunter wasn't here?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: On 7 tee on the par‑3 I looked up and I didn't see Hunter's name on the leaderboard, and I looked at my caddie, and I go, what's going on. He goes, I think Hunter had to leave because Kandi went into labor. So just kind of left the tournament wide open. Hunter was going to be hard to catch because he was playing so good, and the way drives the golf ball on this golf course he was going to play really well on the weekend. For me to catch him, I knew I was going to have to shoot something really low.
With him leaving now, the leaderboard is wide open, and I knew I had a chance if I could keep the momentum going after the first six holes to really ride it out and do something special today.
Q. Does it change your mindset at all when you see something like that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it just changes the complexion of the tournament because Hunter had been playing so well, he was going to be a tough guy to catch. Now that he's not here it's kind of wide open. Anybody can win this tournament tomorrow.
Q. You made it look easy. Did it feel easy today?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, it never feels easy. You always feel like you're exactly one swing away from hitting something off the planet or something like that. I felt like I managed my game really well today. I didn't drive it particularly well on the back nine, which is a little frustrating. But on the front nine I did some really good stuff, and the back nine was able to manage it around. Hopefully tomorrow I'll put the ball in the fairway, make it a lot easier on myself, and should play pretty solid golf tomorrow.
Q. How would you rate that par save on 14?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: That was a pretty good one. That's up there. You need to have those kind of breaks every once in a while where you kind ofhit it ‑‑ I chipped it through the rough and got a perfect bounce out of the rough and rolled up there to two feet, so those are always good to kind of keep the momentum going and get some positive mojo for the last five holes, four holes.
Q. The way the scores are on the leaderboard today, are you expecting you're going to need another round kind of like today?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I'm going to have to shoot 4‑, 5‑, 6‑under par to have a chance to win. That's just the way the golf course is playing. It's playing perfect. It's a lot of fun to play. If you're playing well, you're going to make a lot of birdies; if you're not, you're going to struggle. I think 18‑, 19‑, 20‑under par is going to be the score to get to, and I'm going to try to get past that. It's one of those courses where you know you've got to make birdies. It's actually kind of a comforting feeling because you know you have to be aggressive all day long.
Q. And just with the three par‑5s on the back nine, does that add a lot of excitement to your fireworks?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, because you're never out of it. You think back to all the great history that they've had here on the 18th hole and everything that's happened between Tiger and Vijay and Mike and then the last time here with Nathan Green and Retief Goosen. It's a lot of fun to come down that last stretch knowing that anything can happen. You're never really out of it here until you walk off the 18th green.
Q. You've had a number of solid rounds this year. Where you would you say this one ranks?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's up there. I've obviously played some good rounds to win golf tournaments or stuff like that or give myself a chance, but to shoot 9‑under par has got to be up there with one of my best of the year.
Q. Do you like playing with the lead?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I'd much rather play with the lead than come from behind.
Q. Why is that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Just because you have room to make a mistake. If you come from behind you've got to play pretty much flawless golf, go out there and play perfect golf tomorrow. Still going to have to play great golf and do everything, but I'd much rather have a two‑shot cushion going into tomorrow where if I don't play my best I've still got a chance to win it.
Q. Do you feel fully recovered from the rib injury?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, 100 percent OK.
Q. Are you looking forward to Monday night?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Always. Yeah. We've got a little charity event for my caddie on Monday in Nashville, so it should be a lot of fun.
Q. Given your success earlier in the year, the FedEx thing at the end of the year, do you feel comfortable in this position now? You talked about obviously being better to be in the lead, which I remember when Johnson came in here with 11 he said that wouldn't hold up, but it didn't get too far beyond that today. It was sort of surprising. Are you comfortable in this position now?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, my last two wins on TOUR have been from in front, so I know how to handle it, know what to expect tomorrow, and especially on a golf course like this, the lead doesn't really mean a whole lot. It can change in a hole. I'm not too concerned about my number right now. I know what I have to do tomorrow. I know what parameters I need to hit for me to win this golf tournament, so that's what I'm focused on.
Q. Lastly, we talked about the par‑5s come in, but with three of them on the back, quite reachable for some guys, maybe not ‑‑ you're probably somewhere in the middle depending on whether you hit your driver or not. Does that favor you? You seem to be pretty‑‑ on 16you ‑‑
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I laid up.
Q. You basically laid, took a wedge, and that worked.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, but I definitely wouldn't say it's favors me because I'm not one of the long guys. A guy like Dustin is going to have a mid to short iron into those three holes. I would much rather be hitting it where Dustin is hitting it from. But that being said, there is still a lot of trouble. Even though you have a 6‑iron to that green, if you miss it you can hit it in the water.
Q. By favors you, I mean you have a fairly exacting short game and you look very comfortable with wedges just laying up to a distance and then firing atflags ‑‑
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, my wedge game has been phenomenal this week, and I've leaned on that a few times this week, and hopefully continue to do it.
Q. You did make a lot of putts today. How long has that putter been in your bag?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: That's been in there for seven years. It's been pretty good to me.
Q. Switch at any point, any tournament?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Never, no. It's not the era of the Indian. As much as I try to blame that putter on not putting good, it's always me, and it's kind of nice to know that if something is going wrong, I can blame me, not the putter. The putter has worked before, it's going to work again.
Q. When did it start feeling good this week?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It started to feel good last week at the British Open. I putted phenomenal last week. And then Thursday didn't feel great but felt pretty good. Yesterday felt really good, today felt even better. Just kind of getting to where I feel like I know where I'm hitting my lines really, really well, and I read the greens fantastic today, so hopefully can do that again tomorrow.
Q. Is your caddie putting any extra pressure on you to win at his‑‑
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, not really. I think he has enough pressure. He's hiding it really well if he is.
DOUG MILNE: Brandt, congratulations. We appreciate your time.