MEDINAH, Ill. – Brandt Snedeker, a self-described “jumpy guy,” hasn’t been very nervous this week at Medinah.
Of course, he’s still riding high from last Sunday, when he swept the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles and thereby became $11.4 million richer. Emerge victorious from that pressure-cooker, and few questions will remain about whether a player can handle the pressure.
But the Ryder Cup is a vastly different experience, and Snedeker understands that. The rookie wasn’t fazed when he played the team’s first official practice round, but Tuesday night, at the team hotel, everyone on the team watched a video of past Ryder Cup captains discussing what the cup meant to them.
“I got goosebumps,” Snedeker, 31, said Wednesday. “I got up and told Davis (Love III): I wasn’t nervous until tonight, thanks a lot. Appreciate that. Way to put me at ease.”
Now, though, Snedeker can take comfort in the fact that he’s the hottest player on the U.S. team, after a sizzling run through the FedEx Cup playoffs. He was chosen as a captain’s selection not only by Love, but also by the entire team – they wanted him. That gave Snedeker confidence.
“I’m playing the best golf of my career,” he said. “I beat some of the best players in the world last weekend. So I feel like my game is exactly where it needs to be. And Friday morning can’t get here quick enough. I feel like I’m wasting time getting ready the rest of the week. I’m ready to go.”
The best putter, statistically, on the PGA Tour, Snedeker would make an ideal partner for any of the 11 players on the U.S., but he could form a particularly intriguing team with either Tiger Woods (ballstriking machine, balky putter) or Jim Furyk (ultimate grinder, wounded psyche). They’ve all practiced together during the first two days here at Medinah.
“I definitely have an edge,” Snedeker said. “People don’t get that, because I’m polite. But when I tee it up on Friday here . . . I’m going to try and beat their brains in as bad as I can.”