RBC Heritage interview: Brandt Snedeker

April 17, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: RBC Heritage transcripts archive

DOUG MILNE:  Brandt Snedeker, thanks for joining us for a few minutes prior to the start of the 2013 RBC Heritage.  Obviously a tournament near and dear to your heart.  I believe you're making your eighth start in the event, winner in 2011.  And so with that I'll turn it over to you for some comments on being back here in Harbour Town.
I love being back here.  Obviously the drive down is a big relief after coming down here after last week.  The breath of fresh air after the stress of last week.  And the golf course is in great shape.  The greens are the best I've ever seen them.  They're really plush, they're rolling great.  You have to know what you need to do around here    you have to drive the ball well, hit quality iron shots, take advantage of the couple of par 5s, and hold on for dear life coming down the stretch.  So it should be a fun week.

Q.  Sorry to go directly to this.

  Go ahead.  I know it's coming.

Q.  Compared to '08, was this one easier?  Harder?
:  I think this one is easier because I know I'm going to be back.  '08 was real tough because I didn't know.  When I was a young kid on Tour, I didn't know how my career was going to unfold.  Now I have a good idea what I'm doing.  I realize it's a process.  I did a lot of stuff really, really well last week.  Only thing I didn't do well was putt well on Sunday.  If you don't putt well on Sunday at the Masters, you're not going to win.  I don't care who you are.  I didn't do a good job putting on Sunday.  That's it.
    I understand that.  And next time I wouldn't change anything about last week, anything that happened, any way I prepared, any way I thought.  Nothing I would change.  I'd do everything the exact same again except doing a better job adjusting to the greens on Sunday.  That makes me feel a little better about it.  I know I'm playing great golf.  That's why I'm excited about this week.  It's a nice little stretch coming up.

Q.  What do you do over the last two days?  Was there ever a time driving down here on 16, you're letting it run through your mind or do you let it go?
  No, you replay it.  You think back, you think would you do stuff differently, what could have been, in essence.  But that's why I love playing the weeks after Majors, or try to, because you kind of move on the minute you get here, and you move on to this week, and what you have to do well this week to win and play well and have a chance.  The biggest thing I take out of last week, my goal at the beginning of the year was to contend in Majors.  I contended in the first Major of the year.  I had a chance to win a golf tournament on the back nine Sunday.  If I do that all four Majors, I don't care what happens, I'll be excited with the way I played and prepared this year.

Q.  Just kind of a take-off on that question, can you take us through your emotions on Sunday night after you walked off the golf course, what you thought of and then obviously on the way here.  And secondly, how much does it help to be playing here in particular, a place you had success, a relaxed atmosphere?
  Sunday night was tough.  Anytime you have a chance to win a Major championship and you don't do it, especially the Masters, my kind of favorite tournament, a tournament I'd give my whole career to win.  It's tough.  If it's not tough, then I need to find another job.  It's supposed to be tough.
    So once I got through Sunday night, I didn't sleep very well.  Monday I got up and kids don't give you really too much time to think about it.  Driving down here in four hours and kids screaming the whole time, pretty much wakes you up to reality real quick.  Getting down here is very therapeutic.  Being here with the family and enjoying the island and enjoying being down here.  By the time I tee up on Thursday it will be long lost memory.

Q.  Does it help being here as opposed to not playing?
:  For sure.  Definitely gets it out of my mind.  I realize for me to play well this week, I did a lot of great stuff last week, but I need to get my head around what I need to do to play well.  It's a completely different golf course, it's a completely different set of demands on your game to do well and play well.

Q.  Did you take note of Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott?  Both have followed kind of a disastrous Major Championship by bouncing back very quickly.
  It was great to see Scotty win.  I look at that and see what he went through at Lytham last year, and how hard that was for him to go through.  And to see the way he came back this year and play so well, it's great for golf, it's great for Adam and I'm excited for him.
    And it does give me some confidence if you keep banging on that door it's going to happen.  That was the biggest idea last week, if I keep banging on that door, it's going to happen.  I know it is.  I believe it is.  I did not feel overwhelmed at any point last week.  I did not feel like I didn't have a chance last week.  And I know my time is coming.

Q.  You're such a good putter.  So many guys seemed to struggle with the speed.  Was it all week or was it the moisture on Sunday?

  It was tough.  Saturday was probably the fastest greens I've ever played on Tour.  And Sunday the minute it started raining, they got extremely slow.  I was really dialed in on Saturday.  I felt like I was rolling the ball great.  I had the speed perfectly.  And then Sunday to have almost a switch flip and it got really, really slow.  It was so hard to hit putts there, because if you hit a putt too hard at Augusta, it can get out of your hands real quick, and you can hit a putt 10 feet by in a blink.  Sunday you had that fear; maybe it's not quite as slow as the rest of them.  Maybe this doesn't have as much moisture on it.  And you're putting defensively all day.  It was a shame because I was so dialed in on the way the greens were on Saturday.

Q.  Obviously this is not a Major, but this is maybe one of the strongest fields ever in this tournament; four people in the top 29 or 30 players in the world are here.  RBC obviously is a factor in that.  What other things are bringing players here this week?  And how do you expect that to play out as far as the competition?
  The big reason why we love coming out here, there's two really big reasons:  One, this is a great relaxing week after at Masters.  It's a great week to come down and bring your family, especially a week when you're so high strung.  It's a great week to have a good time on the island.
    And the golf course is fantastic.  Guys love it.  It's a golf course we don't see very often on Tour.  It's not a long golf course, you have to place your ball off the tee, and you have to think your way around this golf course.  And I think guys are seeing that, enjoying that on Tour.  And I think the field, being the way it is, you're going to have a world class leaderboard on Sunday.  That's the way it's going to be.  Those guys seem to find a way to work their way to the top of the leaderboard.  All those guys in the top 30 are going to have a chance on Thursday.  It should be a fun afternoon.

Q.  Are you pretty good at looking forward and just leaving the past the past?
  Yeah, yeah.  I try to use everything that happens in golf to my advantage.  Analyze everything that happens and see what happens, and use that as positive going forward.  So I'm going to look back on this Masters a lot.  I'm going to look back on it and put a positive spin on it.  Look at everything I did well, see where I started the week, see where I ended the week.  And pull off that next time I get in a Major championship.  Say, hey, I did this really well.  I was in there for three rounds, leading the tournament.  I did a lot of really good stuff.  Put myself in the last group.  And use that to my advantage going forward.
    So I think that's how you've got to be.  If you harp on all the negative stuff, you're going to be a very fragile person, because a lot of negative stuff happens in golf.  You've got to find a few positive things and keep going with it.

Q.  From your experience at being a past champion here, how is the championship here viewed out there?  We know that Tour players voted this looks like a favorite after Augusta National.  How was wearing the plaid jacket, have that title on your résumé, how does that play out?
  It's great because you look at the past champions, you look at who your name is associated with, Davis Love, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, guys that have played here and won.  It's great to have your name next to somebody like that.  It instantly address credibility to your career, and address credibility to the kind of golfer you are.  That's why it's such a special event.
DOUG MILNE:  Brandt, we appreciate your time.  Best of luck this week.