By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer
MEDINAH, Ill. - History has proven time and again that hot putters win the Ryder Cup.
Right now, the two hottest putters on the planet are Rory McIlroy and Brandt Snedeker. Since they play for Europe and the United States, respectively, we're in for a great Ryder Cup.
"I don't know who I heard yesterday, they said pretty much every tournament we play now comes down to who makes the most putts," said U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III. "Brandt, who's the hottest putter in the world the last four months, three months, whenever he came back at the Open Championship? Brandt Snedeker? It's Rory and Brandt."
The polite, fast-talking Snedeker captured the PGA Tour's season-long FedExCup title - and the $10 million bonus that comes along with it - thanks to his victory last Sunday at the Tour Championship.
It was the culmination of an unbelievable run for the 31-year-old, one Snedeker hopes will continue with a victory for the United States in his Ryder Cup debut this week.
"My confidence right now obviously is at an all-time high," Snedeker said following a practice round at Medinah on Wednesday. "I'm playing the best golf of my career, backed it up with taking a lead into Sunday last week and winning with the lead for the first time. I beat some of the best players in the world last weekend. So I feel like my game is exactly where it needs to be. And Friday morning can't get here quick enough."
Friday morning, of course, is when these 39th Ryder Cup matches get started.
Aside from a built-in week off during the PGA Tour playoffs, Snedeker has teed it up every week since a tie for third in the Open Championship, which concluded on July 22.
In a sense, he was making up for lost time. From the end of March until the beginning of July, Snedeker had just five starts on the PGA Tour as he was fighting through a rib injury that forced him to withdraw from the U.S. Open.
During the 2011 offseason, Snedeker underwent surgery on his right hip to fix a degenerative issue. Even with his competitive nature and optimistic outlook, there's no way the Nashville native could have possibly envisioned the season he's had thus far considering all his body has been through - two wins, the FedExCup and his Ryder Cup debut.
"It's been a crazy year, to say the least," Snedeker admitted. "I knew I was this good, and I knew -- especially at the end of last year I was playing some really, really good golf. I felt like my best golf was in front of me and then to have the hip surgery in the off season kind of set me back. And then I felt like I was starting all over again at the beginning of this year. The win early in the year, got my confidence back, felt like I was playing great again, and it's just been an evolution."
Snedeker said that as he began to play better, his expectations were higher and his goals changed.
"If you told me at the beginning of the year that I was going to be FedExCup champion, I probably would have told you that ... I did not see that coming," he said. "I don't see how I can be there ... It's amazing when you believe in yourself 100 percent what can happen. And the last six weeks, I give myself all the credit in the world for believing 100 percent in what I'm doing and not backing down to anybody trying to play the best golf in the world, and I did a good job of that. It's been a crazy 72 hours. I can't put into words what's been going on. It's just a dream come true, really."
With all his play of late, you'd think Snedeker would be tired. He swears he's getting his rest when he can and, since everything in his game is working just fine, he is simply focusing on maintenance.
He's also made Captain Love look like a genius. Snedeker was one of Love's four captain's picks. While Snedeker didn't earn a spot on the U.S. side in the two-year, point-getting period, he's certainly proven he deserved a spot on this team.
"I feel like I'm wasting time getting ready the rest of the week," he said. "I'm ready to go. I'd love to tee it up tomorrow and play 36 a day and let's go; because I'm playing good and I want to get out there and try to get some points for Captain Love."