Nashville is almost 400 miles from Augusta, but Brandt Snedeker made that drive "five or six dozen times" while he was in college at Vanderbilt to play Augusta National Golf Club. For years the school's golf team has been sponsored by a member of the club, but no one took advantage of that opportunity as much as Snedeker between 1999 and 2003.
"There is no golf course I loved more as a kid, and that's still the case," Snedeker said. The greatest example of that love came in the 2008 Masters, when Snedeker played in the final group on Sunday, only to finish with a disappointing round of 77. Snedeker became very emotional that day in the post round press conference, and was unable to control his nerves during the round.
But here's Snedeker again five years later, a much more accomplished player and a man that has total control of his emotions. He won twice last year, took home the Fed Ex Cup Championship, won this year's Pebble Beach Pro Am, and is currently ranked 5th in the world.
But, most importantly for this week, is how in control he seems. I had no clue what I was doing in 2008, Snedeker said after going 27 holes without a bogey, and is tied for the lead with 2009 Champion Angel Cabrera. "I had no game plan, no idea of when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive, how to play this golf course the way youre supposed to play it.
I have a completely clear focus of what I need to do tomorrow and a clear set of goals that I need to hit.
That kind of mindset, and all of Snedeker's recent success, certainly should serve him well on Sunday. But so will all of those road trips in college. And while he's controlled his nerves all week, no one would mind if he loses control putting on a green jacket.
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