For Brandt Snedeker, no injury setbacks in his Sea Island return

Brandt Snedeker returns from injury Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For Brandt Snedeker, no injury setbacks in his Sea Island return

PGA Tour

For Brandt Snedeker, no injury setbacks in his Sea Island return

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Brandt Snedeker, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, usually doesn’t celebrate when he ties for 29th. But after a five-month layoff resulting from a mysterious and painful sternum injury, Snedeker departed the RSM Classic on Sunday with nothing but positive vibes.

He said he was pain-free after playing 18 holes a day for five days. He’d passed his test, and moving forward, Snedeker said the light is green as he returns to playing on a regular basis.

“I made it through, no setbacks,” said Snedeker, who last had played at the Travelers Championship in June. He’d been experiencing pain in the joint in his sternum, and had to walk away from the range at Royal Birkdale a day before the Open Championship because he was in so much agony with each ball he struck.

Snedeker, who turns 37 on Dec. 8, worked with instructor John Tillery to adjust his setup and relieve pressure in his chest. He had been playing at home in Nashville, but wanted to test himself under the gun. After a pair of 67s to begin the RSM, not only did he make the cut, but he was within shouting distance of the leaders. Snedeker called it a pleasant surprise. Weekend rounds of 70-70 didn’t do much to dim his optimism.

“It didn’t hold up like I hoped it would after the first two days, but all in all, a very positive first week back,” he said. “A lot of stuff to build on. I’m looking forward to the West Coast and hitting the ground running. I kind of feel I’m behind the 8-ball having not played in so long.”

On Sunday, Sea Island’s Seaside Course was windy, firm, and playing its toughest, and Snedeker responded nicely. He said he’d come in thinking his game was at about 75 percent, but somewhat surprisingly, he found it to be closer to full strength.

“I’m as relieved as I’ve been coming back from an injury,” he said. “Normally you’re going to have a setback – it seems the first week, every time I’ve come back from injury, I’ve felt, well, it’s close but not quite there. This is the first time I’ve come back from injury and said, it’s good, it’s there. I guess the extra few weeks I took off was smart, and now I’ve come back feeling ready to go.”

Snedeker will play next month’s QBE Shootout in Naples, Fla., alongside partner Bubba Watson, and plans to make his 2018 debut at the CareerBuilder, in Palm Springs. If all goes well, he will play four consecutive weeks on the West Coast. 

“My body feels good to do that,” he said, “and I’m excited about it.”

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