Nashville pro Brandt Snedeker openly professes his love for the Masters.
It’s the one major tournament Snedeker cherishes most. A pro since 2008, the former MBA and Vanderbilt star is still seeking his first major on the PGA Tour.
He has now had six Masters appearances, not including playing in 2004 as an amateur.
The past four years, Snedeker has had Masters finishes of 15, 19, six and a tie-37 Sunday.
Snedeker has a game that can win a green jacket. He is one of the top putters each year on the PGA Tour and you must be able to sink putts on the lightening quick, undulating greens of Augusta National.
This year’s Masters was Snedeker’s worst showing since missing his only cut in 2009.
He was in good shape through two rounds with a 70-74. Even though weather conditions were about as good as they get through the four rounds, swirling winds helped dry out the greens, making them challenging to say the least.
Low scores were difficult to find. There was a noticeable absence of raucous eruptions from the galleries scattered around the pine-trees of the former nursery. It was one of the quietest back nines Sunday due to a lack of drama.
Saturday was moving day, but Snedeker found himself moving in the wrong direction. He opened with a birdie on the difficult par-4 first hole. He came back to birdie No. 3 and it looked as if Snedeker could post a low number and get in the hunt.
Playing with Englishman Lee Westwood, the par-3 fourth hole in effect all but eliminated any chance Snedeker had of challenging for a top 10 finish, much less claiming his first green jacket.
It was his putter that did him in.
His tee shot landed in a front bunker, the pin set on the lower level of the three-tiered green. His shot out of the sand went approximately five feet past the flag. He was looking at a par or bogey at the worst.
Five, count ‘em, five putts later, Snedeker left the green with a quadruple bogey 7. He would later double-bogey a hole on the way to his worst-ever round at Augusta National. An 80 left him looking up at the rest of the field and a 1-under 71 did little to repair the damage.
Snedeker has always been a golfer oozing with confidence. But he has been stymied by accidents and physical problems. He broke some ribs when he tripped on a tree root when getting his golf shoes out of his car in the dark. He injured his a knee when he tumbled off a Segway he was driving overseas. Goofy stuff.
Doctors discovered Snedeker’s bone structure is brittle and he now gives himself two shots daily in order to build bone density.
Despite all those obstacles, Snedeker has won eight PGA Tour tournaments. He won the 2012 FedEx Cup championship, pocketing more than $11 million.
He is a prime candidate for best golfer never to win a major. If his health allows, now 33 years old, he should have some prime years left on Tour.
What has prevented Snedeker from winning a major? Does he have a swing that will stand up under pressure? Can he hit the putts he needs in the clutch? Often times it is the mental part that challenges players on this level.
Snedeker has already had a solid financial career. But winning a major would fill a void.
Contact Wilson Post Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.