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Snedeker Seeks Australian Open Redemption

Brandt Snedeker is chasing his second victory on the PGA Tour of Australasia. (Photo: Henry Peters)
Tremendous misfortune cost Brandt Snedeker his chance to win the Stonehaven Cup when he last played in the Australian Open 11 years ago and the 37-year-old hasn’t forgotten.

Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Keegan Bradley form the trio of big-name American drawcards at this week’s Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney but Snedeker is the only one who has come close to winning Australia’s most prestigious men’s title.

In 2007, he finished just one shot behind winner Craig Parry at nearby The Australian Golf Club despite incurring a penalty late in the final round.

“I had to call a penalty on myself on Sunday and it cost me the tournament. I had a ball move on me in the rough and obviously a no-brainer; penalty,” Snedeker said at a press conference earlier today.

“Having a chance to win an Australian Open, I realise the importance of this tournament on the grand scale and in the history of the game of golf.”

Snedeker got his first look at The Lakes over nine holes yesterday and he brings plenty of recent form with him.

He won the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship in August and lost in a playoff at the Safeway Open in California last month.

The 6317-metre layout at The Lakes is a shorter course than what the 9-time PGA Tour winner has become accustomed to in his homeland and he says it will play to his advantage.

“It’s more about placement on this golf course more than anything else which kind of lends itself to my kind of golf so I’m excited about that.”

“The green complexes here are very difficult, it’s going to be one of those places where you have to put the ball in the right spots on the greens to give yourself chances. If the wind blows though, it’s going to be survival.

“There are some short par-fives here on the back nine that you’ve got to make birdies and eagles on and kind of counteract the few bad holes you’re going to have.

Snedeker has set himself apart from many other Americans who avoid travelling overseas for events which aren’t sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

He’s made previous appearances on the PGA Tour of Australasia at the Australian PGA and Fiji International (which he won by nine shots in 2016).

In some small part, he’s helped pave the way for countrymen like Bradley to search for victories outside the US.

American Keegan Bradley at The Lakes today.

“I’ve only played one other time in Australia and I’m really happy to be back,” Bradley said this afternoon.

“It’s always big for an American player to play a little bit more globally. It’s easy for us to just stick to the PGA Tour and I’ve always wanted to come back down here. Sometimes the schedule doesn’t permit that but this year I had a little opening at the end of the year and I really wanted to make that happen.

Bradley has what both Kuchar and Snedeker covet: a major championship.

The 2011 PGA Champion, Bradley hasn’t come close to winning another major since and admits the anchoring ban has taken a big toll on his putting since its implementation in January 2016.

But the 32-year-old said his game is at an all-time high.

"I think right now it's the best I've ever been. I think I'm a much more well-rounded player. I had to tackle the putting issue, which was a lot harder than I expected, and if I keep improving with the way I'm putting and my technique there, as a whole I think my game is a lot better, it's a lot sharper."

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