KAPALUA, Hawaii — Brandt Snedeker starts a new year in golf with hopes of avoiding an old problem – staying healthy.
The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee.
He feared he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament. Just his luck, he only suffered a small tear, along with a cracked tibia and a deep bone bruise. It was enough to keep him out of the Australian PGA, World Challenge in California and the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida. Snedeker said the knee feels good, though the real test starts Friday.
He spent last week playing at Hideaway in the California desert, walking 18 holes a day and carrying his own bag. The good news at Kapalua is that he has his caddie. Not so good is that the Plantation Course was built on the side of a mountain, featuring some of the steepest climbs he’ll face all year.
“I’ve had a few aches and pains of playing again, but nothing that concerns me,” Snedeker said. “The only thing I’m worried about is walking 18 holes here. Palm Springs is dead flag. Walking this golf course is a little different.”
In his seven years on tour, Snedeker said his rookie season was his only injury-free year.
“It’s very concerning,” he said. “I don’t consider myself that, but the evidence bears out that I am injury-prone. Over the course of your career, you’re going to have injuries. I’m hoping all mine are in a five-year stretch.”
His biggest goal for 2014?
“I’m looking forward to playing an injury-free year,” he said with a grin.