GULLANE, Scotland – Brandt Snedeker is back in his routine. Having a Tennent’s or two each evening; exploring North Berwick, the hamlet one stop down the coast from Muirfield, with his swing coach and caddie; and bouncing his way onto the Open Championship leaderboard.
Through two rounds last year at Lytham St. Annes, Snedeker was a stroke clear of the field and looking more Scottish than southern. Although he faded on the weekend he finished tied for third and continued his climb to his first major championship.
On Thursday at the 142nd Open, he birdied two of his last four holes for an opening 68 and an early share of fourth place. Consider it another major mountain climbed and another lesson in links golf learned.
“I'm playing to my strengths and not my weaknesses, and realizing that sometimes a 50-foot putt is a good shot,” said Snedeker, who started the season third, 23rd, second, second, first before being sidelined with a rib injury.
“A wedge shot, hitting 50 feet is a good shot. It's hard to do that for me. I want to be going at the pins and you can't do that over here. And putting the ball in the fairway. It's very simple here.”
No, it really isn’t. But Snedeker is starting to make it look that way.