RBC Canadian Open interview: Brandt SnedekerJuly 28, 2013
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THE MODERATOR: Please welcome our RBC Canadian Open Brandt Snedeker to the Shaw Media Center. Brandt it's your sixth career victory on the PGA TOUR and it also moves you to third in the FedExCup standings. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about what this win means for you and we can open it up for some questions.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Just ecstatic right now. This is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie is actually from Canada and it's his national open. It meant a lot to him, meant a lot to me. Third oldest tournament on Tour and it's got some great history to it, and now to put my name on that trophy it means a lot.
To go out there today in tough conditions where I obviously didn't drive the ball the way I wanted to or hit some particular shots, but I hung in there really well and made the key putts I needed to and I was able to survive. That's what today is all about.
Q. Can you walk us through the 12th hole? It seemed to be a pivotal hole in the round?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I was kind of right between clubs. I wanted 4 iron, and kind of flared it a little bit to the right, wind caught it and pushed it over right of the bunker. Hit the down lip of the bunker and kicked into the junk; I guess that is the best way to put it.
I had to do a little operation over there. I had a big lip right behind my ball, and that was a make or break moment. I had to try to move it because I couldn't hit it. If the ball moved, it was a shot penalty, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Luckily, my caddie and I did a great job going back to our six or seven year old days, pulling operation out of there and not touching the sides or anything, and I was able to make a bogey there which was huge. To get out of that shot with a bogey kind kept the momentum going and kept the disaster away. So it was a good, pivotal hole for me.
Q. Two part question for you. First off, you started the year so hot, so hot, and then you got sidetracked with your injury. Took you a while to get back to it, and then you win today. Summarize how things have gone for you?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, feels like two completely different years for me. First part of the year, I couldn't do anything wrong. I was playing fantastic, and I got injured. I feel like I've been fighting to get myself back to the way I was at the beginning of the year. I'm not saying I'm there, but I'm close to the way I was playing in the beginning of the year.
It feels great to get a win. To validate all the hard work I've put in over the past three months where I haven't played my best and know that I'm working on the right stuff and able to hold up under some pretty serious pressure this afternoon. To win a tournament like this with those pivotal holes coming down the stretch means a lot.
Q. I know with the currency exchange it won't be quite a million U.S., but will you be buying Hunter and Kandi a gift for Zoe?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me. I can't thank Kandi enough for going into labor early, was I don't know if I'd be sitting here if she hadn't. But that is a way more important thing than a golf tournament. I missed a golf tournament when my first was born, and it was the best decision I ever made. I'm sure Hunter would say the same thing.
Q. I know earlier this week you mentioned something about how since your daughter was born in 2011 you've played some of the best golf of your career. Maybe you can talk about what Hunter will be experienced?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I've won five times now since she was born two and a half years ago. I think it puts golf in perspective. I think out here can you place way too much importance on how you're swinging the golf club and how you play. Even though it is our career, it doesn't define who we are as people.
I used to take everything way too seriously on the golf course. It used to be who I was. Now with a daughter and new young son, I realize they don't care at the end of the day if I shot 90 or 60. My two and a half year old told me great shot. I hit it in the water on Saturday. She said, "great shot. Way to go, dad." They don't care. They just want to be there at the same time with you.
So it really put a lot of importance on practicing smarter, being better on the golf course, about managing my emotions and realizing how unimportant every golf shot really was.
Q. Brandt, yesterday you talked about how you probably had to shoot 65 or 66 to win after three days of ideal scoring conditions. Was there a point today that you realized that pars were going to be good scores because of how tough the conditions were?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, after the first hole I realized it. The wind was blowing very hard. Every fairway was tough to hit, every green was getting firm. It placed an importance on managing your golf ball. Miss it in the right spot, place importance on getting it up and down, which is all kind of things I'm really strong in. I did a great job today of saving pars early in the round. I was able to hit some quality shots coming down the stretch when I needed to and put the ball in the right spot.
Q. Were you aware of the scenario of Dustin making the triple on 17 at all?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, no clue, no clue. I don't look at leaderboards because you can't control anything anybody else is doing. My whole goal today was to go out there and shoot as low as I possibly could. Because if I was up by five or down by four, I just wanted to shoot as low of scores as I possibly could, and that's what I did.
Coming down 18, I could feel like the tension was out of the air. I felt like I had a chance and a pretty cushioned lead to get it done.
Q. All joking aside, do you see this as a tournament where you've gone and won it, or the leader just parted part way through playing well? I mean, I must admit it sounds kind of awkward, but it's probably a strange spot to be in.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I've been through this before when Kyle Stanley made a big number on the last hole and some people say he gave me the tournament. This is kind of right there with that. When Hunter was playing so great, he would have been tough to catch over the last two days. But he's not here. There is no point in going down that road.
I'm just happy to be RBC champion. I'm excited that he made the decision that he did.
Q. Secondly, talking about 18, so you're not aware that Dustin had tied you on 16 and then Paul had his struggles on 17?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No.
Q. So it wouldn't have changed at all how you played that hole?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: No, I was trying to hit the fairway, first and foremost, trying to hit a good tee shot. From there, I've got to lay it up. My caddie does a great job of letting me know how aggressive I need to be. When he said just give yourself a birdie putt at it, I figured it was a pretty cushy lead.
Q. Does he pay attention?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, he knows exactly where. He only tells me if I need to know.
Q. Did you change drivers?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I did.
Q. So you're back to?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: My old driver.
Q. You seem to be pretty upset after you lipped out that putt on 6? How big was it to bounce back with that birdie on 7?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: That was huge. It was a momentum putt. 6 was a bad bogey. Hit a good tee shot there and messed it up from there on 7. You need some good stuff to happen. You're kind of waiting for that stuff to happen. The birdie 7 which was playing tough today was a bonus. For me to win today I had to play par 3s really well. The par 3s were going to be pivotal holes. I did a great job. Got the momentum going in the right direction, and got the good thoughts. All the negative thoughts stayed away, and I really kept my head on straight from there on out.
Q. You've now had your three best Canadian Open finishes here at Glen Abbey. What is it about this course that fits your game so well?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: The greens here are right up my alley. They're small greens, but they're a Bent and Poa mixture. I love Poa Annua greens, in San Diego I played really well. On the west coast Pebble, I played really well. So I love Poa Annua greens. I know if I get putting well on Poa Annua greens, I'm going to have a chance.
Friday kind of got the feel flowing. I knew I was going to have a good weekend on the greens, and that's really what the difference was.
Q. You talk about the relationship with your caddie. Was there anything today? You guys had a lot of conversations about the wind and stuff. Anything where he really stepped up and made a big difference?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: He did a great job even on 12 today. There was a crack in the log, and I didn't see it. It was really a wet, thick log. If we moved the log the way I was going to move it, it probably would have broken off and rolled down and hit the ball. He did a great job of catching me there and getting me thinking clearly. He did a great job all day. Calling me off shots.
We made a bunch of great decisions today. Missed the ball in the right spots. We talked truth every shot. What we do and don't want to miss.
Q. What club was it?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: 4 iron.
Q. Did you see the rafters in the creek when you were down there? Just sort of the guys were out in the creek?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Oh, yeah, yeah. That actually kind of helped because we had a two or three minute delay there. The wind was really blowing hard, and it kind of died down by the time we hit. So it actually helped me out.
Q. So thanks to the rafters?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, thanks to the rafters. I owe them a beer.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much for your time, and congratulations.