It's not often you hear a top pro say he's imitating another player's swing. But Brandt Snedeker, at 35, is so self-assured and forthcoming he says he's trying to let his head turn up through impact "just like Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam." He has been working on the move for more than a year, and his driving distance has exploded. He's averaging seven yards longer than he did last year, 10 more than in 2014.
But without trying, Snedeker bears a resemblance to one of his idols, Tom Watson. Not only does Snedeker look like a young Watson, the Nashville native also plays fast. Particularly on putts: no practice stroke, one look, and go. And like Watson, Snedeker is a mudder. Take his final-round 69 in horrible conditions to win at Torrey Pines this year.
Snedeker's teacher, Butch Harmon, likes what he sees. "We've worked hard, especially on his move through the ball," Harmon says. "Brandt used to hold his head back, which would sometimes cause his body to slow and his hands to flip over. That's a hook. Now he can go at it hard without worrying about hitting it left." That's an enviable feeling for any golfer. – With Roger Schiffman