TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola interview: Brandt Snedeker

September 18, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola transcripts archive

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Brandt Snedeker into the interview room. Making his fourth appearance at the TOUR Championship by Coca Cola, highlighted by that win last year that also resulted in the FedEx Cup.

Brandt, welcome back to East Lake. Talk a little bit about how excited you are to be here.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's good to be back. It's been a crazy year since then, obviously. It's good to be back at a place where I have so many good memories.

Excited to see what the week holds. Had a great week last week. Feel like I have a lot of confidence coming into this place. Always good to be back on a golf course that you have good memories. I'm excited about what the rest of the week holds.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of Coca Cola, a month ago you were here touring their headquarters, and came back impressed with what you saw.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: They were nice enough to have me back here about a month ago and went and saw the coke archives, which is nice to see the history, how much American history is tied with that coke brand and seeing from 1902, going back as long as that, the original Coke bottle, some of the original artwork they had done by Andy Warhol.

It came all the way up to me holding an Olympic torch that they had at the London Olympics. It was pretty cool to be there and see all the history they have, and it's great to have a sponsor like Coca Cola this week, and it's a great way to end the year.
Fantastic golf course with a ton of history and a great sponsor like Coke and Southern Company really kind of pull it all together.

Q. Brandt, coming here last year, apparently, you thought you were sixth in the standings, and then you found out you were fifth. Was it Keegan that informed you?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: I can't remember what the scenario played out. I thought that somebody something happened on the 18th hole it might have been Dustin or somebody, didn't bury the last hole or bogeyed the last hole at Indianapolis and bumped me to fifth and then sixth, and that ended up being the difference. That was a big deal for me.

Q. And did that boost your confidence coming in?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: It just gave me a sense of relief knowing I controlled my own destiny. I didn't have to listen to see how every scenario played out, like I do this week. I need a lot of stuff to go my way to win this week. But last year was all under my control.

Q. Brandt, how many players out here do you think are good enough to play a Steve Stricker limited schedule and still be here this week?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Not very many. Certainly not me. I'd say there's maybe three or four guys that can do that out here.

Q. Why not you?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: My game is completely Steve's game is built for what he does. He can take time off, come back, and hit the ball phenomenal. He's built his game to completely be I'm not saying he doesn't work hard. He still works extremely hard at it. He can put the clubs away for three weeks, come out and play great.

I'm a guy that kind of plays into form. I need to be out here and play in competition and work myself into form that way. I can't seem to get the same kind of focus at home practicing and my golf game is completely different than his. We do everything completely the opposite. He has no hands in his golf swing, no hands in his putting. I do everything completely the opposite that he does.

It just goes to show you what kind of player he is. I played a lot with him this year, it seems like, and it's been fun watching him play. It still amazes me how straight he hits it, how consistent he is, and he just seems like he's going to have -- I played with him last week. I played the first two days, and I was not shocked that he had a chance to win, and I actually thought he was going to win because he was playing so good.

Q. Brandt, in your mind, how far does this week go in terms of determining Player of the Year honors?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think it's a very important week. I feel like there's a lot of guys that have there's a few guys that have a legitimate shot of winning that this year, and I feel like this week's going to if one of those guys wins this week, I think it kind of seals the deal.
I think so many different stories with those those three guys that we're talking about that have a chance to win it. I think this week will go a long way in determining that.

Q. Brandt, what's the most important element when playing this course? What's the most difficult hole?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Most important element here is maybe not so much this year, but typically it's hitting the fairways. The fairways here are so if you don't hit the fairways here, you can't be aggressive. You can't be aggressive if you put the ball in bad spots and you make bogeys.

This year, the rough's a little bit down. So that's going to be a little bit different. But the green complexes here are so severe. They're probably the second most severe we play all year compared to Augusta.

That's where it's going to be won or lost this year is where you play around the greens. Hardest hole every year is 16, 17, 18, that stretch of holes. Those three holes always play the most difficult, I think, just coming down the stretch because so much can happen.
17 is a really tough par 4. Tough tee shot, tough second shot. And 18 is an iconic par 3, the way it is. Always a tough finish.
It's tough coming down those few holes, it seems like. And the guys that play those holes the best can end up winning.

Q. I'm asking you this because you're a football fan. What kind of dent do you feel this playoff is making in the college and pro football landscape?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: That's a tough one to answer. I don't know. I would like to think it is making a dent because you have Tiger, Phil playing. There is a bunch of different scenarios playing out this week that can really draw a viewer in to want to watch it and see what happens on Sunday.

I feel like the Tour's done a great job of getting that head to head atmosphere with the best players in the world playing each other week in and week out. These last four weeks going up against the NFL, I think it's our best product.

I hope it's making a dent. I know I get texts FRS from people all the time who are switching back and forth, watching football and watching golf. It's probably just because of me, but I'd like to think it's because of the Tour.

So I hope it's making a dent. I think it would. It would intrigue me. I'm a golf fan. I would want to watch it. I would hope other people would too.

Q. You said last year that you hoped that the $10 million wouldn't change you, and it certainly doesn't appear as it has. You're still the same great, down to earth guy. Can you just talk a little bit what you've done with that and what you may be planning to do with more of it.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: The biggest thing I've done since last year was probably starting our foundation. We had a little start pretty much with a large chunk of the money we made last year, started our foundation, my wife and I did. We're very excited about that. It's almost six months old now, eight months old now.

I was able to we were able to move into a new home and loving that, what it's done for our family. We feel like we have finally a place that we can call our home for a long time to come.

Besides that, haven't done a whole lot with it. It's been a great, great year. I feel like my life's definitely changed a lot in the last 12 months from this tournament, and I'm very grateful for that.

That being said, it feels like forever ago that this happened. It's definitely been a lot of ups and downs since then. Hopefully, I can go ahead and get back on one of those ups and feel like I did last year leading into Sunday.

Q. Why do you think it's been so hard for the FedEx Cup champ to come back to East Lake the following year? How much satisfaction do you take in getting here?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: It's tough to maintain any kind of consistency. I feel like, to get into a TOUR Championship, you've got to play well all year to get in position, and then you've got to play well in the playoffs. That's really tough to do.

Obviously, Tiger probably would have done it if he hadn't been injured the couple years that he won it. There's always some scenarios that play out. Phil was really close last year and had a bad tournament coming in and just missed out. I think Vijay got injured. It seems like there's always something creeping up.

So I don't think it's too much of an issue, but it's great to be back. I set my schedule around or set one of my goals at the beginning of the year making the TOUR Championship. I figure, if you've done that, you've played a great solid year, a really solid year.

There's only 30 guys here, the best 30 players on the PGA Tour. That's my main goal to start the year. To accomplish anything else, win tournaments, whatever, to end up here.

It's great. It's a big honor to be back. It's my third year in a row, and I feel very fortunate to be back. It's a very relaxing, gratifying feeling to be here this week.

Q. Matt Kuchar said he considered it a huge accomplishment that he's made every cut this year. How big of a deal do you think that is?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: That's tough. Man, that shows of how consistent he plays. It shows you that he never gives up, that he keeps grinding all the way out.

That's never going to be who I am. I completely, 100 percent accept that. I like missing I don't like missing cuts. It's just who I am. It's part of golf. I ride the good streaks really, really well, and the bad streaks kind of go bad for me.

That's pretty impressive. He and Steve Stricker are probably the two most consistent guys out there. Steve had an incredible streak of 50 some cuts going. Tiger goes without saying. I take him out of that mix.

And the way Kuch plays, he just gives himself a chance every week, it seems like. That is a big accomplish: It's not one of my main goals, but good for him.

Q. Are you at peace with that?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah. I think the best you've got to understand who you are as a golfer to be successful, and I completely understand who I am. I understand what kind of golf I play. I understand how to ride out my hot streaks and how to try to minimize my cold streaks.

Sure, I would love to be more consistent and be a guy who's there week in and week out, but I'm not going to sacrifice my good weeks for that. So I realize that my low might be a little bit lower than I want it to be, but my highs are still really high.

I ride out those high streaks as long as I can for as often as I can, and then the low ones, I just try to get back as quickly as possible.

I wouldn't trade the way I play for anything.

THE MODERATOR: Brandt Snedeker. Thank you, sir.