Brandt Snedeker has a relationship with MasterCard, which is the sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and Mr. Palmer said that he has had the opportunity to get to know Snedeker over the years and thinks that Brandt is a great person.
Mr. Palmer said that he always knew that he would eventually go overseas to play tournaments and when he was able to earn enough money to afford to make the trip, he would go over to play. 1960 seemed like the perfect time because he had already won The Masters and the U.S. Open. It was a dream realized to be able to go over to Scotland and compete at St. Andrews although he did not win that year.
There was no question that in 1961, he wanted to win The Open Championship more than any other tournament in the world. A lot of things happened in 1960 at St. Andrews including the first weekend finish and the first rainout. The weather in 1961 was horrible with the winds blowing 40-50 miles per hour. He was able to play very well in some very difficult conditions which allowed him to win the first of his two Claret Jugs.
While other notable players took a few years to warm to links golf, Palmer first fell for links golf when he went to Ireland to play in the World Cup with Sam Snead. When he played in The Open Championship for the first time in 1960, he loved the experience although he did not love that Kel Nagle defeated him.
Playing internationally taught him a great deal about golf but in the 50’s and 60’s, many American players did not even go overseas to play and he strongly encouraged them to go over and play. In the early 60’s, you had to go through qualifiers in order to even compete in The Open Championship and while he was willing to go through the process, many Americans were not in part because of the expense and risk involved. Fortunately, the R&A agreed and ended the qualification process the week of the event.
The fans in Great Britain are as enthusiastic as you will ever meet and he fell in love with them from the first time he went over to The Open Championship. They play a significant role in the great atmosphere of The Open Championship and he hopes that as many American players and fans as possible are able to go over to Britain at least once to experience an Open Championship.