KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Brandt Snedeker craves another taste of major championship contention this week.
This time he wants the more satisfying taste that comes with winning.
Snedeker’s Sunday chance at the British Open last month whetted his appetite for more, just as his run at winning the Masters in 2008 did.
If Snedeker, 31, ends up hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy as the PGA Championship winner at week’s end, it won’t come as a big surprise. There are signs pointing toward the three-time PGA Tour winner’s readiness to seize a big moment.
“I feel good,” Snedeker said Wednesday aside the Ocean Course’s practice putting green. “I feel like I’m ready to take that step. I’m not feeling any apprehension, and that’s a good sign.”
Snedeker took the second-round lead at the British Open last month with a 64 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. He was tied for second heading into the final round and closed with a 74 to finish tied for third, equaling his best finish in a major. He led early in the final round of the ’08 Masters before faltering down the stretch with Trevor Immelman winning in tough, windy conditions.
Though Snedeker didn’t close at the ’12 British Open or ’08 Masters, he said he learned more about himself than he has in any other events.
“You learn a lot about what it takes to hang in there for 72 holes and not get down on yourself, to accept you may have nine bad holes, but it’s about how you overcome,” Snedeker said. “You can’t play perfect golf in majors.
“I think the more times you get in there, the more you give yourself opportunities to get some good breaks. And you feel like you know how to handle bad breaks when you do get them under major championship pressure on a weekend. It can be tough to deal with, to slow things down and realize what is going on. I think the more you do it, the more you can slow things down.”
A victory this week would come with a giant bonus. It would assure Snedeker makes his first American Ryder Cup team. He’s 13th in the American standings with the top eight automatically qualifying at the conclusion of the PGA Championship. A finish of third place or better could earn him a spot on the team, depending what points other players win.