SOUTHPORT, England – Brandt Snedeker stood on the practice tee mid-Wednesday afternoon, doubled over near his bag, obviously trying to stretch away some hurt that he was experiencing. Within the hour, he would officially withdraw from the 146th British Open.
Snedeker’s manager, Mac Barnhardt of Lagardere Sports, said the player will have an MRI performed after he travels home to Nashville on Thursday. It’s believed that Snedeker, an eight-time PGA Tour winner who was part of the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team last fall, has inflamed cartilage between his sternum and rib cage, and it was causing pain when he swung the golf club.
“He made a smart decision,” said Barnhardt, “but it was a difficult decision.”
Snedeker even took a shot four days ago to help alleviate his pain, and played only 18 holes (nine holes one day, nine another) in his time in England. The Open will be the second big event Snedeker has been forced to miss because of injury this season. He missed The Players with an injured left hand.
“He did everything he could, but it’s an athletic sport, and injuries can happen,” Barnhardt said. “The toughest part is that he’s got to be the one to make the call. If he was playing for the Yankees, they’d just tell him, ‘You’re not pitching tonight.’ But he’s got to make that call.”
Snedeker was coming off some solid play heading into Birkdale, having finished T-9 (U.S. Open) and T-15 (Travelers) in his last two starts. Snedeker was looking to play in his ninth Open, his best finish being a T-3 at Royal Lytham in 2012.
James Hahn will play in Snedeker’s place.