Snedeker takes blame for loss

‘I ex­pected bet­ter of my­self,’ he says

USA TODAY International Edition - - GOLF - Steve DiMeglio

No one had to spot­light all the mis­takes Brandt Snedeker made when, sit­ting on his­tory’s doorstep, he squan­dered a sub­stan­tial lead in the fi­nal round of the PGA Tour’s open­ing act of the 2018-19 sea­son. He did it him­self. Im­me­di­ately af­ter los­ing in a three­man play­off in the Safe­way Open — and then dur­ing a long jour­ney over the Pa­cific Ocean to Malaysia — Snedeker re­counted all of his mis­cues and laid the blame squarely on his shoul­ders. “I know I’ll look back on this one in a few years and know I gave it away,” Snedeker said af­ter fail­ing to hold on af­ter tak­ing a five-shot lead with 11 holes to play Sun­day in search of his 10th PGA Tour ti­tle. “I didn’t over­come a lit­tle bit of ad­ver­sity. I didn’t make some pars when I need to. “I ex­pected bet­ter of my­self. You can say I choked; you can say what­ever. It was not good golf the last nine holes, and that’s on me.” In­stead of be­com­ing the first player since the in­cep­tion of the FedExCup in 2007 to win the last reg­u­lar-sea­son event the pre­vi­ous sea­son and the first event of the new sea­son, Snedeker in­stead was left look­ing for an­swers. The 2012 FedExCup cham­pion was right where he wanted to be; he was in form and he had the mem­ory of his vic­tory in the 2018 Wyn­d­ham Cham­pi­onship when he opened with a 59 fresh on his mind. But then his game went hay­wire. His short irons started go­ing left and his usu­ally re­li­able put­ter started let­ting him down. That’s what frus­trated him even more — two of his strengths de­serted him, and he couldn’t fix the prob­lems dur­ing the round. He drove the ball well for the most part of the fi­nal round — which put him in ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tions to hold the lead, let alone at­tack — but short-iron mis­cues from the tee on the 11th and the fair­way on the 10th and 12th led to bo­geys. A birdie at 16 gave him the lead again, but he bo­geyed the next and even­tu­ally lost to Kevin Tway, who birdied the last three holes in reg­u­la­tion and the first two in the play­off to claim his first PGA Tour ti­tle. “It never gets eas­ier to get over some­thing like this,” said Snedeker, 37. “This is one I gave away. It shouldn’t have hap­pened, but I only blame my­self. I’m not go­ing to let nine holes and poor ex­e­cu­tion wipe out all the pos­i­tives that came out of this week. I did a lot of great stuff. I be­lieve my best golf is ahead of me. But I need to learn to ex­e­cute when I have to and over­come ad­ver­sity when I have to, and I just didn’t do that to­day.” But there is an­other day. In Snedeker’s case, it comes Thurs­day (Wed­nes­day night in the states). Snedeker will get right back at it in the CIMB Clas­sic at TPC Kuala Lumper in Malaysia as the PGA Tour be­gins its three-tournament trek through Asia. Tway, Ryan Moore, the other de­feated foe in the Safe­way play­off, Justin Thomas and de­fend­ing cham­pion Pat Perez head the field. “What’s great about the Tour is I’ll have an op­por­tu­nity right away,” Snedeker said. “I’m play­ing some great golf de­spite what I did on the back nine. I’m do­ing a lot of good stuff. I look for­ward to play­ing over there and for­get­ting about this day as quick as I can. “Come the first round, I bet­ter have my head on straight.”


Brandt Snedeker’s last PGA Tour ti­tle came in the 2018 Wyn­d­ham Cham­pi­onship in Au­gust.

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