Byron Nelson showing
bolsters Snedeker's confidence
The Tennessean Sports Writer
an unemployed college graduate, Brandt Snedeker's plate sure is piled high. He
was taking a lesson from Higher Performance Golf Academy Director Virgil Herring
yesterday at Springhouse. Herring has worked with him since Snedeker's days at
will be playing Monday at Knoxville's Cherokee Country Club, trying to qualify
for next month's U.S. Open.
the he moves to Memphis for next week's FedEx St. Jude Classic.
most Vandy graduates who pursue careers in law, medicine or perhaps politics,
Snedeker is chasing golf balls around the country.
he left the Byron Nelson Championship last week, Snedeker had an extra $39,440
in his pockets. Snedeker fired a 69 on the final day, a round which matched the
great Tiger Woods. It left Snedeker only six shots behind the leaders.
was not some off-shoot tournament. Sergio Garcia won in a three-way playoff. The
field included Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Mark O'Meara, John Daly, Justin Leonard
and Kenny Perry. Missing the cut were current Masters champion Phil Mickleson
and former PGA champion Rich Beem.
he had every reason to fold, Snedeker hung tough. It proved what those who have
seen his game evolve to this point, believed all along: Brandt Snedeker has game.
lot of these guys make a living because they are really, really good at one thing,"
Herring said. "Some of them are great drivers, great putters, great short
game. Brandt is pretty strong everywhere. He has a pretty balanced game and there
aren't many balanced games out there."
said missing the cut in his first two PGA Tour tournaments wore down Snedeker's
confidence. It all returned with his performance in the Byron Nelson. " I
feel like I belong out here new," Snedeker said. "I was playing against
some of the best players in the world. Just going out there, hitting golf shots,
seeing them hit golf shots and knowing on any day I can play as good as 90 person
of them out there. It's against putting up numbers against someone new. Now I'm
playing against Tiger, Vijay, those guys. I go in the Byron Nelson and in the
second round have the second low round (66) of the day.
know my game's as good as anybody's out there."
turned professional the day after the Masters, in which he was one of only two
amateurs to make the cut.
doesn't have a PGA Tour card. He has seven tournaments in which to finish among
the top 125 in money earned to be fully exempt for next season. If he lands in
the top 150, he earns partial exemption. If he falls short, it will be off to
school is one of the most rigorous, nerve-wracking tests in all of sports.
knows the odds may be against him, but is confident he can avoid Q- school. "At
first I think he was in awe," Herring said. "Now, he realizes he can
makes golf a great sport is that it doesn't reward you for who you are, or what
you have done. It's all based on how you play.
Biddle is a sports columnist for The Tennessean. He can be reached at 259-8255
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
information on Virgil Herring's instructional video, click
you have a question concerning an area of the golf swing or the short game, click
here to email Higher Performance Golf Academy.