Why Brandt Snedeker will win the 2013 Masters
Brandt Snedeker holds the 54-hole lead at the 2013 Masters. Here's why he'll seal the deal and win his first green jacket.
In 2008, Brandt Snedeker shot a 77 in the final round of the Masters after starting that day in second place, two shots off the lead.
An even-par 72 would have won him the tournament.
After that round, he sat with the media:
"I went from extreme highs to extreme lows and that's what you don't want to do around here. You never really felt comfortable no matter how good you're playing or how well you thought you were striking the golf ball.
Then, through tears, he talked about coming back to Augusta:
"Hopefully we won't end up here in tears all over again. I have no clue why I am so emotional. I was laughing outside and I'm crying in here."
He has been back to the Masters in three of the four years since that devastating Sunday in 2008 and notched top-20 finishes twice.
So his 70-70-69 performance in the first three rounds this year is no surprise to anyone.
His words after taking the lead in the third round on Saturday, however, were. They were telling, too -- like a man who is a million years removed from standing outside the Augusta National clubhouse in tears:
"I had no clue what I was doing in 2008. 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 you're supposed to play it. I have a completely clear focus of what I need to do tomorrow, a clear set of goals that I need to hit."
Snedeker has only made six bogeys all week. He has been as steady as any golfer in the field in a week that has been anything but steady.
We had the Tiger Woods controversy, and before that we had the Tianlang Guan controversy, and there just hasn't been a rhythm to the 2013 Masters.
But Snedeker has settled in, and I think he's ready to own a major championship on Sunday. He has played the second nine this year at 6 under with only one bogey, and that came early on Thursday.
He's ready to conquer Amen Corner instead of playing the second nine in 38 strokes like he did in 2008. Augusta teaches you before it allows you to pass its test.
He'll have challenges, for sure -- from co-leader Angel Cabrera but also the three Aussies in contention: Adam Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman.
But he's ready. And being ready on Sunday at the Masters, more than anything, is what matters. Because if you're not ready, this place can bring you to your knees.
This Masters has been coming towards Snedeker for a long time. Certainly much longer than since his mini-collapse five years ago.
He said so himself on Saturday night:
"I've spent 32 years of my life getting ready for tomorrow."
You'll spend the next 32 wearing a green jacket, Brandt.
The Masters will be yours in 2013.
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