The game of golf is such a fickle thing. One week you’re on top of the world, cashing in a seven-figure winner’s check. Then, the smallest things can start going wrong in your game and you struggle to find anything resembling consistency.
That seems to be the way things are going for Brandt Snedeker lately. Just three weeks ago, Snedeker won the RBC Canadian Open for his second 2013 PGA Tour title. Despite battling a hip injury earlier this season, Snedeker was in elite company, joining Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson as the only players with multiple wins in 2013.
Ranked seventh in the world and third in the FedEx Cup points race coming into this event, he was also a heavy favorite to take home the championship at the Wyndham, with a course that seemed to set up well for his game. So what went wrong?
The biggest problem for Snedeker this week was missing greens. Known as one of the best short-game players on Tour, he only hit 20 of 36 greens in regulation in his two rounds at Sedgefield Country Club. Even as one of the best putters in the world, Snedeker simply didn’t give himself enough good looks to score. A string of four bogeys in six holes to start the back nine on Friday sealed the early exit for the best player in the field.
As the defending FedEx Cup champion, Snedeker wasn’t alone as a big name to miss the cut. Also heading home for an early weekend are Padraig Harrington, Stewart Cink and Davis Love III.
While I don’t think this will affect Snedeker too much going forward, there isn’t a worse time for him to be slumping than entering the playoffs. Snedeker certainly wasn’t going to overtake an idle Woods in the standings this week, but with Woods returning at The Barclays next week, it would have been a great time to get some momentum going.
The good news is that Snedeker is in such great position that a poor outing this week won’t affect his standing for the rest of the year. He’ll be able to use this time to prepare for a return to Liberty National Golf Club, where he finished tied for 12th in 2009.
The pressure’s turned up another notch next week, and Snedeker should respond in kind. Don’t expect this slump to last much longer.