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Home Snedeker never stops learning

Brandt Snedeker is getting a taste of wining. Safe to say he likes it. He’s been red hot since he won the TOUR Championship and FedExCup in 2012. But he would be the first to admit that he’s still learning on the job. “If you look at the guys who are the best at what they do, it's amazing how patient they are with themselves and how they keep fighting and hanging in there in golf tournaments. I'm still learning it,” Brandt Snedeker said before defending his title at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. “I'm way better this year than I was last year, and last year was the first year I put a big emphasis on it.” 

According to Snedeker, his role models in this area are his peers. “I learned a lot from playing with Tiger and Phil and Davis Love, these guys that have won a ton of tournaments. You see it when you play with them in competition. You see how patient they are and you see how they never get down on themselves. They think the next hole is going to be their run of nine straight birdies. Doesn't matter where they are, you can just see it in their eyes,” he said. “That is something that young golfers typically don't do a great job of, and you're constantly learning. But to be around those guys, when you see those guys in competition, it's very, very impressive. It's probably the most underrated quality is how patient they are on the golf course,” he continued.

Snedeker understands that life on TOUR can be hectic and crazy, especially when you come out on top. However, it can also be fleeting. “You have to win Majors and win tournaments to be recognized as an elite player. And I haven't done nearly enough of that, you know,” he acknowledged before picking up his fifth career win. “I'm playing great right now. I'm as high as I have ever been in the world ranking and all that kind of stuff, but you have to win tournaments to validate that. I haven't done it. I think when you win Majors and win multiple times in years, you validate whatever people say about you,” he said after finishing second to Phil Mickelson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Snedeker moved to #4 in the world with his victory.

His improve play late last year that has followed through into 2013, came after an unexpected result that can often leave a player with doubts. “It was a blessing in disguise looking back on it because it gave me a weekend to kind of go home and re-evaluate where everything was and played great since then,” Snedeker said referencing his missed cut at last year’s PGA Championship. “End of last year, PGA, it turned one of my weaknesses into one of my strengths and I'm one of the few guys out here, when I hit more fairways, it directly relates into how many greens I hit. So when I hit ten fairways in a round, I'm pretty much going to hit 68 to 75 percent of my greens.  So it's a big number for me, if I can hit ten fairways in a round,” he said. Snedeker hit 43 of 55 fairways over his four rounds at the AT&T Pebble Beach National, which represents 78.2%. He was tied for 14th in the field for the category. He hit 77.8% (56 of 72) greens, which left him 6th in the field.

“Worked on stuff that I was not particularly excited about with my game at the end of last year, and a lot better this year. My scrambling is a lot better. My proximity from 150 yards and in is a ton better than it was last year and I'm making less dumb mistakes than I did last year, so all of that on top of each other has produced a lot better golf out of me,” Snedeker said about his game and self. He is 33/37 for subpar rounds on TOUR dating back to the first round of the Wyndham Championship since last August, which was the week after he missed the cut at the PGA Championship. 

Snedeker is still learning and some might say that he catches on quick. Since 2011, the players with the most PGA TOUR wins are: Rory McIlroy (5), Brandt Snedeker (4) and Tiger Woods (4). Pretty good company as three out of the top four are in the world rankings. Luke Donald is currently between Woods and Snedeker in the ranking system. “You know, a lot of it has to do with confidence coming off of last year. Obviously with the FedExCup, THE TOUR Championship, the confidence I gained from there, I definitely took it into this year and realized how good I can be,” explained Snedeker. “I'm one of the few people in this world that get to live out their dream every day. And it seems like over the last three months, I've been waking up in a dream world, and it's been pretty unbelievable.”