Brandt Snedeker has always been an upbeat golfer who oozes confidence.
The Nashville native always sees sunshine behind the darkest cloud. He is a grinder, a gamer. He know hot streaks are just around the corner.
Snedeker entered the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis as the highest ranked golfer in the field. But after rounds of 70-73, Snedeker missed his second straight cut Friday. He finished two shots short of the cutline, missing his second straight cut.
To this point it has been a roller-coaster season for the former Vanderbilt All-American. He ranks third on the money list, sixth best in the world.
But he has been battling a rare physical malady where his bone density has caused his ribs to break. It took until recently for doctors to diagnose his problem and put him on Forteo, a drug that fights osteoporosis. It has been approved by the PGA Tour and Snedeker is optimistic the two shots he has to inject himself with in the morning and evening will build back the bone mass he needs to compete on the PGA Tour.
“It's just a weird thing I've got to deal with and something I've got to deal with,'' Snedeker said in a press conference this week at PGA Southwind in Memphis.
“It's probably the biggest pain of my life keeping it refrigerated all the time. So I'm traveling with ice packs and all that stuff. The biggest thing for me is the logistics of keeping this thing with me all the time.''
He has been hampered by the medical situation for the past two years and it has caused his practice schedule to be cut in half.
Snedeker admits it has had an effect on him, and his game.
His swing coach, Todd Anderson, has adjusted Snedeker's practice routine to avoid further injuries.
He missed the cut at Houston, a week before the Masters. He was tied for the lead after three rounds at Augusta, but dipped to a tie for sixth in the final round. Snedeker arrived in Memphis with six top 10 finishes.
He will find results in the next week on how the Forteo is working. It has been a long process just identifying what has been causing his bones to become more brittle than they should be in a person his age (32).
Snedeker has been treated by Vanderbilt physicians and also spent time at the Mayo Clinic.
“I've had more tests and stuff run on me than I want to have run again,'' he said. “They feel like this can maybe increase my bone mass 20 to 30 percent, which would get me back to a normal level.''
Snedeker struggled after his opening round where he posted an even-par 70 with four pars, four bogeys. Friday saw him post three birdies, two bogeys and a pair of double bogeys that put him on the wrong side of the cutline.
He hit only 42.8 percent fairways off the tee and 55.5 percent greens in regulation. It's hard to compete with those numbers and even his usually hot putter couldn't save him.
Given his medical situation and the uncertainty of a long-range prognosis, Snedeker's career could be in peril if he can't find a solution.
He knows the game itself can be the cruelest of all the sports.
“Golf does a great job when you get numbers where you feel like you can do no wrong and you get moments where you feel you can do no right,'' Snedeker said. “Golf has an unbelievable ability that the minute you think you've got it figured out, to slap you in the face and show you what reality is.''
Snedeker remains confident the sun will drive the clouds away.
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