When last seen on a golf course, Brandt Snedeker was capping off an amazing run by winning the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
He mentioned his ribs being sore, but never let on that the pain began to increase over the last four or five holes that Sunday.
That was five tournaments ago.
Snedeker, who also missed the U.S. Open last summer because of a rib injury, returns to competition this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He said his rib muscle was strained on the left side, which was causing the pain. And while the two rib injuries are not related, there is concern about why it keeps happening.
“I had about every test run you can possibly have run,” Snedeker said. “The good news is I’m completely healthy. The bad news is I’m completely healthy. So I don’t know why it keeps happening. I was kind of hoping that something would creep up that would lead me to see why this keeps happening, and nothing came up. So just have to chalk it up to bad luck, I guess, and get back healthy.”
He could have returned last week in the Tampa Bay Championship, but sat out one more week as a precaution. Instead, he added the Houston Open next week, with everything geared toward being ready for the Masters Tournament, which begins April 11.
CAN’T DO THIS AT HOME: Curtis Strange compiled plenty of experience in his 20 years playing Augusta National Golf Club at the Masters, which included a runner-up finish in 1985. He can think of no other golf course where experience means so much, especially on and around the greens.
“There are chips, pitches and putts we don’t get anywhere else, you can’t duplicate it at home,” Strange said. “Speaking for myself, I was never comfortable on the greens until the weekend.”
Strange said if he could start his career over, he would spend more time on the practice green, which has some strange contours.
“I remember spending one afternoon with putting contests, just doing goofy stuff, and it helped enormously,” he said. “You cannot duplicate those putts anywhere else.”
TIMELY ENDORSEMENT: Two days after Stacy Lewis rose to No. 1 in the women’s world ranking with her win in Arizona, she signed a deal worthy of the LPGA’s best player. Omega said Tuesday it has added the 28-year-old American to its roster of ambassadors.
Lewis already has won twice this year, and she was the LPGA Player of the Year in 2012.