- Open Championship
Record-equalling Snedeker not looking too far ahead
After having experienced major championship heartbreak once already in his career, record-breaking Open Championship leader Brandt Snedeker is refusing to look too far ahead.
Snedeker burst out ahead of the rest of the field after matching the course record of 64 with his second round on Friday, enabling him to also equal the championship's 36-hole record at 130 shots, 10-under par.
For a number of hours Snedeker enjoyed an eight-shot lead over any of the other finishers in the clubhouse - before first-round leader Adam Scott eventually cut that to one after finishing nine-under - but the three-time PGA Tour winner insists it is far too soon to start thinking about lifting the Claret Jug on Sunday evening.
"I hadn't thought that far ahead," Snedeker said. "We've got so much golf to go - literally, if it's blowing sideways tomorrow, no lead is safe. And the same thing will be said for Sunday.
"It was pretty cool to see your name atop a major leaderboard at any time, let alone at a British Open, after 36 holes. It's a great feeling, a great experience - but it gets you a whole lot of nothing."
Snedeker has come close before in a major championship, finishing in a tie for third at the 2008 Masters after entering the final round just two shots behind eventual winner Trevor Immelman. A closing 77 left the 31-year-old in tears that evening at Augusta National, but he insists he has gained greatly from that experience and has no fears about emotion getting the better of him over the weekend.
"I think I took out of it, no matter how much I talked down, how much it meant to me and how much a major does mean to everybody out here," Snedeker said. "To watch Trevor handle the emotions and play the way he did the last 18 really taught me a lot about what you're going to have to go through. It wasn't an easy day that day at Augusta. It was real tough.
"[Because of that] I think everybody calls me an emotional guy when I play golf, and I'm really not. I'm probably the most level-headed guy you'll see play on tour. I never make a shot out of anger or make a shot because I'm not playing good. I kind of do the same thing every time.
"If anybody asks or knew me, they'd say I'm the most level-headed guy because I never hit a shot or calculate a shot without analysing the risk of what's going to happen, where it could go, where it couldn't go, that kind of stuff."
Snedeker has been in supreme form so far this week, hitting 31 of 36 greens in regulation and avoiding all of Royal Lytham's 206 bunkers over the course of the opening two days.
The American's putting has been key to his rise to the top of the leaderboard, however - as he has aimed away from almost every pin but been able to roll in the birdie attempts with regularity nonetheless.
"I'm making every 25-footer I look at, so that makes it a lot easier," he said. "I feel like the reason why I knew like I was going to play well this week, because from the first day I stepped on these greens I had a great feel for the pace. These are the best greens I've putted on in a British Open.
"When you have good pace, you're not really worried about hitting it too close, because you can get it 40 feet and get a two-putt and get out of there. I think that's the big reason I played so well.
He added: "Typically when I get my putter rolling I make a lot of putts, and that's what it takes to go low. So that's what I'm going to keep trying to do over the weekend.
"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, but I'm not going to change anything."