There were tears again when Brandt Snedeker fell short at Augusta National. He wasn’t the one crying this time, though. It was his 2-year-old daughter, Lily, who was upset. “I guess we’re just tearful,” the elder Snedeker said.
Lily was not yet born the first time he contended at Augusta National. Snedeker, then a second-year PGA Tour player, was two shots off the lead entering the final round of the 2008 Masters. He shot 77 in the final round, then shed tears in his post-round press conference, becoming a sympathetic viewer to golf fans around the globe.
Snedeker was back in contention at this year’s Masters, tied for the 54-hole lead with Angel Cabrera after shooting three consecutive sub-par rounds (70-70-69). His favorite club, the putter, betrayed him in the final round, as did a hole that also hurt his chances in 2008. He again shot over par on Masters Sunday, firing 75 to tie for sixth.
“I’m not as crushed as I was in 2008 because I know I’m going to be there again,” said Snedeker, who arrived at Augusta as the reigning FedEx Cup champion and world’s No. 5 player. The loss still stung, though. “Any time you have a chance to win the Masters and you don’t come through, my life-long dream, you’re going to be upset, you’re going to cry, but I’ll get through it.”
He shot even-par 36 on the front nine, and was two shots behind Cabrera at the turn. Snedeker missed a 3-foot par putt on No. 10, though. He three-putted the 11th hole to fall three shots back, then missed a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 12. His second shot to the par-5 13th sailed into the creek right of the green. He also was three shots off the lead in 2008 when he hit second shot at No. 13 into the water.
“I was in between clubs and I took the longer club and tried to cut a ball off that fairway, which is really difficult to do, but it was the only way I had a chance of getting it close,” Snedeker said. “My 4-iron wouldn’t have made it and the hybrid, if I hit it normal, is too much. So I tried to cut it and came out of it and hit it where you can’t hit it.”
He grabbed both ends of his hybrid, channeling his frustration into the club’s graphite shaft, after his ball landed in the water. It wasn’t the only one that hurt him Sunday, though.
Snedeker, 11th on Tour in strokes gained-putting, needed 32 putts Sunday as he struggled to adjust to greens that were significantly slower than the previous day. “The greens really messed me up,” Snedeker said. “I did not do a good job of making adjustments and I’m disappointed.”
Snedeker is in the field for this week’s RBC Heritage, which he won in 2011. The Masters was his fifth top-6 finish in eight starts this year, including his win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and two runners-up. That success softened Sunday’s sting.
“Obviously you don’t get many bites at the apple,” Snedeker’s brother, Haymes, said, “but he’s not a glass-half-empty type of guy. I think he’ll be disappointed by it, but I don’t think he’ll be as upset as he could be.”