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brandt snedeker

‘The doctor didn’t want to do it’ – Brandt Snedeker’s recent surgery will make you shudder

Brandt Snedeker hasn't played on the PGA Tour since September after undergoing a rare operation that even his own doctor didn't recommend...
 

On Wednesday at the Memorial Tournament, Brandt Snedeker was asked to explain the last few months of his life and how he’d been dealing with his injuries.

The American left no stone unturned in the details.

Over the last seven years, Snedeker had been dealing with what was eventually diagnosed as manubrium joint instability. He grew tired of playing on the PGA Tour while forcing himself to cope with the pain.

On December 1, Dr Burton Elrod operated on Snedeker in Nashville which has now increased the stability in his sternum – mission accomplished.

But the operation was by no means straightforward, as Snedeker didn’t hesitate to explain.

“They took a bone about the size of my thumb out of my hip and they cut my sternum open and cut across it and made a huge incision,” he said.

“They dialed out about the size of my pinkie on the lower part of the sternum and upper part and put that bone in the middle of them and created a dowel-like thing.

Brandt Snedeker

“And then wrapped it with bone putty and paste and tried to let it heal and reattach itself. So (they) broke my sternum on purpose, cut my sternum open, and then reattached it.

“He’s been my ortho forever and he’s a genius. He wouldn’t do anything that would hurt me. He didn’t want to do it, but all the other options involved steel plates and rods and screws and all that stuff and he was big-time anti that (and) I was anti that.

“I didn’t think that would solve the problem. I thought it would just move the pain elsewhere. It took some convincing because he didn’t want to do it again.

“He did it one time. Finally convinced him to do it and I think it’s the best-case scenario so far.”

Snedeker didn’t complete 18 holes until April 21 after “sitting still” for 16 weeks to let his bone heal. He is now capable of 300/400-ball practice sessions and well enough to return to the PGA Tour.

The nine-time PGA Tour winner has only played once this season at the Fortinet Championship back in September and he is currently playing on a minor medical extension.

As long as he earns 144 FedEx Cup points in the next four events, he will earn a major medical extension. Snedeker wanted to use the Memorial to feel out his game and discover what he is capable of.

“At some point you have to jump into the deep end and see if it worked out or not and this felt like a good week to do it,” he said. “So I didn’t want to kind of dip my toe in at an easy place to do it.

“I wanted to find out at a tough place and I figured this is the best way to do it.”

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brandt snedeker

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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