Date: December 05, 2007
Author: Marc Fox

Rookie welcomes travel opportunities

Rookie-of-the-year favourite Brandt Snedeker has called on his countrymen to seriously consider the challenge of contesting Australia&aposs major tournaments. The talented 26-year-old is just one of only seven Americans in the 156-strong field which gets underway in the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship at Coolum on Thursday. His fellow travellers are Scott Sterling, JB Holmes, Ryan Moore, Jason Gore, Kevin Stadler and Eric Egloff. Egloff carded a five-under-par 67 on the first day of the 2006 championship 12 months ago to briefly flirt with the lead of a title which has recently been Australia&aposs sole domain. The last time the trophy went overseas was in 1999 when New Zealander Greg Turner took out the crown. And when asked if he would like to see more of his compatriots competing Down Under, the Nashville, Tennessee native replied: “Definitely.” “They obviously have their reasons – family being a big issue especially with our down-season being so limited,” Snedeker said. “But I really have no excuse not to.” “I use this as a great excuse to travel the world and see parts of the world I haven&apost been to before. I know I would have never gone to the Great Barrier Reef otherwise.” But Snedeker made it clear that playing overseas was much more than simply seeing the sights. He said he loved playing with the Australian contingent on the US Tour and rated the likes of Peter Lonard and Paul Gow among his closest friends while he branded world No.6 Adam Scott a great ambassador for Australian golf. However, it is playing in unfamiliar conditions and being forced to adapt to strange surroundings which Snedeker believes will help improve his game. “I get the chance to play against some of the best players in the world on their own turf,” he said. “We have an advantage in the States so now it&aposs time to come over here and see how my game stacks up. We&aposll find out on Thursday.” But he admitted that for the time being he is happiest sticking to English-speaking foreign climes. “I was in Japan for two weeks. It took me by surprise and put me back in my place a little bit,” Snedeker smiled. “It made me realise how tough people have it when they come to the States and don&apost speak the language.”