Snedeker elated to be at 'center of the sports world'

Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:21pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - With Tiger Woods and the Super Bowl both back in town, Brandt Snedeker feels as if he is at the center of the sporting world as he prepares to compete in this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The PGA Tour event already boasts the noisiest hole in golf and the electricity is likely to be at an all-time high with record crowds expected at the TPC Scottsdale where former world number one Woods will be making his first start of the season.

"As a player, you do come here with more energy and there's always a lot more people here than at other PGA Tour events," Snedeker told Reuters after playing in the pro-am competition on a sun-splashed Wednesday in the Arizona desert.

"With Tiger playing and the Super Bowl in town, there's definitely a lot more eyes on this place this week. It's a lot of fun.

"You love being in the center of the sports world for a little bit and that's kind of what we are this week. It's a great feeling, both as a golfer and as a fan."

Snedeker, a six-times winner on the PGA Tour who was FedExCup champion in 2012, has played in eight Phoenix Opens and has always relished the raucous atmosphere at the par-three 16th.

Thousands of spectators cram into the grandstands and sky boxes surrounding the 163-yard hole and they loudly boo any golfer who fails to hit the green off the tee.

"Sixteen has always been crazy and whether the Super Bowl is here or not, they (the fans) always get out pretty early ... especially on a day like today when the weather is perfect," Snedeker said.   Continued...

Brandt Snedeker of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble