A revitalised Brandt Snedeker has recognised the significance of the Stonehaven Cup ahead of the Australian Open to be played at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney this week.
The nine-time PGA Tour winner – who finished joint runner-up at the Australian Open in 2007 – is looking to capitalise on his recent return to form by etching his name onto the famed trophy alongside the likes of Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
“It’s a really cool trophy to look at … it’s historical and pretty and gorgeous,” said Snedeker, who completed nine holes at The Lakes this morning.
“You see the names on that trophy and there’s lots of Hall of Famers and major winners.”
Snedeker, 37, captured the Wyndham Championship in August for his first title on the PGA Tour since 2016 – and he finished second at the season-opening Safeway Open in October after reevaluating his approach to the game.
“I’ve made some tough decisions in the last year to try to get myself back to being a top-10 player in the world and being where I feel like I belong and win golf tournaments,” Snedeker said.
“It was great to see that come through so quickly at the Safeway Open.
“I’m not okay with just being okay … I’m either going to push myself to be great or I’m going to fail miserably, but I’m not going to be in the middle.”
The former World No.4, who is currently ranked 49th on the Official World Golf Ranking, will be one of eight Americans playing in the Harbour City this week.
Joining him will be Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele, Robby Shelton IV, Dawson Armstrong, Norman Xiong and amateur Zach Bauchou.
Bradley, who clinched the US PGA Championship in 2011, recently experienced his own renaissance after entering the winner’s circle at the BMW Championship in September; his first victory on the PGA Tour since 2012.
“Ernie Els told me this one time, he said, ‘Your career goes in waves and it’s all about managing those waves,’” said the World No.30.
A victim of the anchoring ban implemented in 2016, Bradley was required to spend countless hours on practice greens to ensure he was still able to compete at the highest level.
“The putter change took me by surprise,” Bradley said.
“I wasn’t quite ready for it and I had to put a lot of work in to get back to this level and I have to continue to do that for the rest of my career.”
The 32-year-old has managed to finish T19th and 6th from his two starts in 2018/19 and believes he is playing the best golf of his career.
“I think right now is the best I’ve ever been, I think I’m a much more well rounded player,” he said.
Bradley, who owns four PGA Tour titles, recalls watching the Australian Open on his television growing up and is fast becoming hungry for success outside of the United States.
“I’m trying more to play outside the country and getting a win outside of the US would mean a lot,” he said.