Brandt Snedeker rolled into Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open after a tortuous win at the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, California. He managed to finish his round in pretty good shape on Sunday, but was relegated to waiting for the rest of the field to finish. Unfortunately, a huge wind and rain storm shut down play for the day and he had to wait until Monday afternoon. I was curious what that was like for him.
Q. How did you manage Sunday night? What was that like for you?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Awful. It was absolutely awful. It was worse — I have had the lead on Sunday going into the Masters and I slept better than I did that night. I don’t know why. It was completely out of my control. Literally the elements were everything. If I had elements on Monday, I had a chance to win. If I didn’t, I didn’t have a chance to win.
It was just a completely helpless feeling. I know how my family feels all the time when they watch me now. I know how everyone’s family feels now when they watch it now and how brutal it is to watch and have no control.
It was a long 24 hours, you know. It was — when I got done at 6:00 on, or whatever time it was, wasn’t even 6:00, 3:30 on Sunday, I mean, it was just a completely helpless feeling. A good feeling, you had all this positive stuff happening, trying not to think about winning because you’re trying to get ready, you know, there might be a playoff, you might not win, don’t get your hopes up. But at the same time you’re kind of like a kid on Christmas, you can’t wait, like hopefully it’s going to happen.
That’s why Monday was so tough. I was just waiting around for am I going to lose, am I going to win, am I going to be in a playoff? What’s going to happen? I just didn’t know. Just a crazy feeling. Never had anything like that. I’ve had to sit and wait for a while but nothing like that.
Q. What was the difficulty of the night? Thinking you had a chance to win, you were going to win, or…
BRANDT SNEDEKER: If I could show you the text chain between me and my brother you would see what was going through my mind. It was just about every possible scenario of I have no chance tomorrow, I can’t believe they called play, to it might be a great thing, the forecast is this to pulling up 20 different forecasts trying to see which one was going to hit. Everything you could possibly think of. I was just helpless. Absolutely helpless feeling.
THE MODERATOR: It’s got to be a good feeling here coming off a win. How do you carry that momentum coming into this week here?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Just trying to build on it. I have had a good three-week run here with Hyundai and then Sony Open and obviously last week at Farmers [T3, P2, 1]. My main goal is make sure that I keep that momentum going.
I’m obviously playing some good golf. And fatigue is something I worry about after a week like last week. So yesterday I took almost completely off. I feel better today, feel more well rested, played good in the ProAm, so excited about teeing it up tomorrow.
It’s going to be a tough test. The golf course is obviously longer with the new redesign but the greens are firm and fast. It’s going to be a difficult test. It’s not going to be like in years past. I think it’s going to play a little harder. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready and thinking properly tomorrow and hopefully get something going.
Q. Another reporter wanted to know about his Monday.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, Monday I did a great warmup session [in La Jolla] and luckily didn’t have to hit a shot. Got here Monday afternoon and kind of just relaxed Monday night. Got settled in and didn’t really do a whole lot. Went over to some friends’ house and kind of celebrated a little bit but nothing crazy.
Yesterday tried to spend time with the kids in the morning, be normal and get back to my normal routine. Yesterday I came out here and hit a couple of golf balls. Putted for a little while, and that was about it. I was kind of tired. Wanted to get home and get some rest. Still feel a little tired today but hopefully late tee time tomorrow helps me get a good night’s sleep tonight and be ready to go tomorrow.
Q. Another wanted to know where he was compared to other runs he had had in the past?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, you know, I’m trying — there is lots of comparisons between here and 2012. 2012 I got hurt right after Pebble. It was kind of a lull in the year, middle of the year.
I’m excited and curious, like everybody else, to see how this year will pan out. I feel like I’m playing as good or better than I was at that point. I hopefully won’t have an injury derail me, so I can see how long this will go and see how I can string this out and keep playing.
I’m excited about it. I really am. I think all the stuff I have been through the last three our four years I have learned a lot. I have learned having Butch [Harmon, his coach] here helps a lot. He’s a great motivator, great guy to push you and tell you what you need to hear. I will lean on him and lean on everybody in my team a lot and make sure I make this, get as much out of this run as I possibly can. You get on runs, and they don’t last for anybody. You have to keep going until you don’t.
Q. And then another question about his weekly preparation, the payoff of the entire interview. It’s very rare to get this kind on insight into the way a player manages his time.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Just my game plan has completely changed. I used to go to a golf course without a game plan, trying to play as good as I possibly can.
Now I have a game plan for what I’m trying to accomplish every day, what I’m trying to accomplish throughout the week, a set of goals to hit every day. Little stuff like that. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you have that, you break up the tournament to ‘I’m not just trying to win,’ I’m trying to do this on day one, trying to do this on day two. I’ve got certain things — every day is different. Every day conditions are different, pin positions are different. You can’t just go in with a mindset I’m going to go birdie every hole today.
You have to have a clear mission of what you’re trying to do that day. Some days 69 or 70 might be the best you can possibly shoot. Some days 64 might be. You just don’t know. You have to get out there and see what the course leaves you.
I didn’t really have any idea about that before. I’d just kind of go out there and winging it and seeing what happened. Now I have a pretty clear picture what I need to do. That way if I don’t have my best game, if I can check off certain things for that day I can kind of manage that day and hopefully figure it out before the next one.