HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Brandt Snedeker stepped in front of the cameras, offered a few opening remarks about the RBC Heritage and then took a breath.
''Go ahead,'' he told the group. ''I know it's coming.''
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Snedeker knew the focus Wednesday would quickly turn to his disappointing final round at the Masters. He went into Sunday's round tied for the lead and in prime position for his first major. Instead, he shot a 75 and tied for sixth behind champion Adam Scott.
Snedeker, the 2011 RBC Heritage champion, believes the best way to bounce back is to continue playing – something he'll do starting Thursday as part of a strong field at Harbour Town Golf Links.
''I love being back here. Obviously, the drive down is a big relief,'' said Snedeker, the tournament's highest-ranked player at No. 5. ''The breath of fresh air after the stress of last week.''
For much of last weekend, it looked as if the only stress he might deal with was to avoid crying when he put on the Masters champion's green jacket. Snedeker had birdied his opening hole to move to 8 under and was still in contention at the turn.
Instead, he struggled on the back nine with bogeys on the 10th, 11th and 14th holes. Snedeker famously cried during post-tournament interviews in 2008 when he had a chance to win the Masters and finished third after a final-round 77.
This time, Snedeker left with some resolve that his time at Augusta National will come. He wasn't sure what his golfing career had in store for him five years ago. Now, one of the world's best, Snedeker has perspective about what he can achieve.
''I have a good idea what I'm doing,'' he said. ''I realize it's a process. I did a lot of stuff really, really well last week.''
And that's why Snedeker is confident he can carry that preparation into the Heritage. He came from six shots down in the final round to catch Luke Donald here two years ago, winning the title on the third playoff hole.
The good vibes and friendly layout have done wonders since Snedeker arrived Monday.
''Getting down here is very therapeutic,'' he said.
He'll have plenty of talented players to contend with. The sixth-ranked Donald is in the field, along with Matt Kuchar (No. 9). Reigning major champions Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (British Open) also are competing. In all, 14 of the world's top 29 players are teeing it up.