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PGA Tour: Will Brandt Snedeker win again at AT&T Pebble Beach?

By Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 8, 2016 at 8:52 AM
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PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM

Even if Brandt Snedeker wins again at Pebble Beach this week, don't expect them to rename the place "Sneds' Alley."

Snedeker, the defending champion, will be trying to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the third time in four years -- which would put him in some pretty fast company.

Mark O'Meara won the old Crosby Clambake five times, followed by Sam Snead and Phil Mickelson with four titles, and Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller at three each.

Snedeker is tied with the likes of Tom Watson, Billy Casper, Cary Middlecoff, Lloyd Mangrum, Dutch Harrison, Davis Love III and Dustin Johnson.

Nicklaus also won the 1972 U.S. Open at Pebble, and Watson did it in 1982, while Tiger Woods doubled up in 2000, winning the AT&T in February and the U.S. Open by a record 15 strokes over Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Cabrera in June.

"I might need to buy some real estate here," Snedeker said last year after winning by three strokes over Nick Watney. "I love being here at Pebble. I've been to Pebble probably 15 weeks of my life. This is the best week I've ever seen.

"The golf courses are in the best shape they have ever been, the fans were unbelievable. I never seen this many people come out for the tournament, and I can tell you from the players' standpoint, everybody had a great time. It was awesome."

In 2013, Snedeker won the tournament by two strokes over Chris Kirk for the fifth of his eight PGA Tour victories.

Snedeker said it was better the second time around.

"This is a completely different tournament," he said last year after opening with a 64 and following with three consecutive 67s. "Last time ... I was playing a lot different than I played this week.

"To go around these golf courses with only making one bogey was a testament to how well I fought, how well I was able to execute my game plan. This one means a lot more than the last one did just because of all the things I've gone through in the last year and a half."

Snedeker, who was a career-high No. 4 in the World Golf Rankings after winning at Pebble in 2013, was back up to No. 12 last week after his victory two weeks ago in the rain-plagued Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines down the California coast in La Jolla.

He also won the San Diego-area event in 2012, so half of his PGA Tour victories have come in the Golden State, which he attributes to the grass -- and not the kind some people smoke.

"What I love most about poa annua is you have to be aggressive and you have got to hit a putt almost perfect," said Snedeker, who has been hampered in recent years by hip and rib injuries, which led doctors to determine that he has low bone turnover that is being treated with medication.

"You got to give it a chance to go in, you got to get it rolling hard on the green. And I think that's what my stroke does best, because I hit them aggressive, get the ball rolling really fast. When you do that, the ball holds its line. If you miss a putt a little bit, or hit a weak putt, it's going to bump off."

Despite his eight victories, the 35-year-old from Tennessee believes he could have done more since being the Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour in 2007.

For one thing, his best finishes in the majors have been ties for third 2008 Masters and the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

"I'm not happy with my career; I think I can do better," Snedeker said. "California's been great to me. I wish we had four majors in California, or three majors in California and one in Georgia.

"And I don't know what it is about this place out here, but I love being in San Diego, I love the golf course, and obviously Pebble's been great to me, too. So I love poa annua greens. Any time we get on this, I'm in a good frame of mind."

The poa annua just seems to give him a natural high.

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