ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Brandt Snedeker talks quick, walks quick, performs golf quick … the very last thing he ever needs to do is must take issues slowly. However that’s precisely the place he’s, and what he’s dealing with, at this week’s RSM Traditional at Sea Island, as he returns from a painful and mysterious sternum harm that has stored him off the golf course since early summer season.

Snedeker, 36, an eight-time PGA Tour winner and the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, walked off the apply tee on Wednesday of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, and he hasn’t competed since. He couldn’t bear in mind the final time he’d proven as much as a regular-season PGA Tour occasion on a Monday, however there he was at Sea Island, getting himself prepared for the lengthy week and impending uncertainty that lies forward.

Snedeker has been taking part in at house in Nashville – 25 holes three straight days – and now it’s time to check himself as he assesses the place he stands heading into 2018.

“Yeah, semi-retirement’s not all it’s cracked as much as be,” Snedeker mentioned. “It’s been a very long time. It’s enjoyable to be again, type of understand what you miss, and I’m in all probability essentially the most excited man within the subject this week to be taking part in once more.

“I used to be out right here all day yesterday practising. I can’t bear in mind the final time I used to be right here on a Monday practising for a event. So it’s enjoyable to be again. It’s enjoyable to type of see the place my recreation stands.”

When he left, his recreation was in fairly good form. Snedeker, now ranked 47th on this planet, felt as if his ballstriking beneath teacher John Tillery was in the most effective form it had been in for a while. His play had been regular. He was stable on a bombers’ observe at Erin Hills, tying for ninth on the U.S. Open, and shot a closing 64 at Vacationers the following week, tying for 14th.

Then at Birkdale, he hit a breaking level. The influence made when he struck a golf ball took his breath, the vibration touring by means of his arms and into his chest, “like a tuning fork hitting it each time,” he mentioned. He felt as if his sternum was damaged.

He has seen 14 medical doctors in about as many weeks to seek out out the foundation and explanation for his ache, which medical doctors inform him is the sort they usually see in athletes from contact sports activities. The repetitive nature of what he does to strike a golf ball has brought about the joint in his sternum to get infected, and it renders him painfully sore. He mentioned his chest sternum started transferring “independently of one another.” If he hit a golf ball and waited 10 minutes, he was effective. However when he hit ball after ball, it harm to breathe, and harm him to maneuver.

Humorous, in each different exercise in his life, Snedeker mentioned he stays unencumbered. He can work out, or raise his youngsters into the air. It’s solely the golf that causes the ache. That’s his livelihood. And that, in itself, hurts as a lot as his bodily harm.

“I’ve had accidents earlier than, and there’s all the time been a start-stop date,” he mentioned. “You understand, ‘six weeks and you’ll hit balls,’ no matter it could be. That is the primary time the place I had an harm the place actually medical doctors are going, ‘I don’t know. I can’t let you know a date when you will get again to taking part in. We have now to attend and see.’ That was in all probability the worst factor you’ll be able to inform a golfer, is simply wait and see, since you need to have the ability to go hit balls and apply and type of get again at it, and so they’re telling you (that) you’ll be able to’t do it. That was in all probability the hardest a part of it.”

Throughout his time away due to harm, the closest Snedeker received to aggressive golf was handing Lanto Griffin the trophy on the Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which advantages the Snedeker Basis. (Ryan Younger/PGA TOUR)

That, and the very fact he’s 36, in fine condition in any other case, and has some issues he’d like to perform on this recreation. He had a tough time watching the playoffs, and couldn’t take seeing all his buddies rolling so nicely with out him on the Presidents Cup.

Snedeker has a pleasant historical past at Sea Island. He performed the golf programs there within the SEC Championship when he was at Vanderbilt, and even lived on Sea Island for a spell as a youthful professional. He would play and apply at close by Frederica, and has performed Seaside, one of many event programs, he says, “a whole bunch of occasions.”

The harm has led him to make some important adjustments. He and Tillery have labored to regulate his setup and spherical off his swing to alleviate a number of the ache he was feeling in his chest, making his base extra stable and steady. To forestall irritation within the sternum joint, he additionally has transitioned to a “boring” eating regimen of greens, as he’s limiting his consumption of sugars and his carbs. If he will get down the street to go to Southern Soul, the famed native eatery, later this week, he’s probably restricted to sampling somewhat smoked rooster.

“I miss French fries like loopy,” he mentioned. “I don’t know why, I’ve all the time cherished French fries.”

For all of the uncertainty of his harm and his future – he’ll assess how he feels at week’s finish, however mentioned the potential of surgical procedure isn’t but off the desk – and the inherent nervousness intertwined with an athlete’s return, there additionally is a few optimism that competing once more provides him. He’s again, and at a well-known place, competing in “Uncle Davis’ event.” In some methods, it’s a brand new starting.

“I really feel like I’m beginning this new season ballstriking-wise in a terrific place, really feel like I’m hitting it the most effective I’ve ever hit it,” Snedeker mentioned. “So I’m enthusiastic about stepping in and taking part in some good golf, and I firmly imagine that my greatest golf’s nonetheless forward of me. I’m trying ahead to displaying it off this week.”