Brandt Snedeker has a sense of golf history and he saw the names on the Stonehaven Trophy – Nicklaus, Player, Watson, Norman, Thomson, Palmer, to name but a few – and knew that this was a tournament he wanted to win.

At his previous visit to the Australia Open, in 2007, the American almost won at The Australian, ultimately bowing to Craig Parry. A self-imposed penalty on the last day, when he accidentally moved his ball while preparing to play from the rough, saw him a shot from a playoff.

“I was looking at it (trophy), quite an impressive list,” Snedeker said today.  “It’s a really cool trophy to look at, it’s historical and pretty and gorgeous.  But you see the names on it, there’s lots of Hall of Famers, there’s lots of Major winners, lots of historically very important people in the game of golf with their name on that trophy.

“You can tell this tournament’s done a great job of identifying great champions, and that’s what you look for when you go play in a golf tournament.  You know, can you go down there and play a golf course, play the best and the – you get a good idea real quickly if it really does hold up and this tournament is one that does hold up.’’

Snedeker made a playoff at the Safeway Open in Napa recently and has found some decent form after a few difficult years. In his self-analysis, he decided on death or glory. “I made some changes in the last year,’’ he said. “ OK, trust myself to be great or I fail miserably, but I’m not going to be in the middle.  I feel like I’ve really done a lot of hard work and made a lot of tough decisions to get myself back to being a top-10 player in the world, being where I feel I belong and win golf tournaments.’’

He played a few holes at The Lakes yesterday and liked the course, with a rider. “If the wind blows, though, it’s going to be survival.’’

– Martin Blake