Snedeker gets rest before title defence

Brandt Snedeker will take a "deep breath" before beginning the defence of his RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town in Hilton Head on Thursday.

Golf News: Brandt Snedeker

Snedeker beat Luke Donald in a play-off in South Carolina 12 months ago, a result which prevented current world number one Donald claiming top spot in the rankings at the time.

And although Snedeker feels his game is in good shape after finishing 19th in The Masters last week, he admits competing at Augusta National makes for a stressful experience.

"It's exhausting, last week was very exhausting," Snedeker told reporters at a pre-tournament press conference.

"I was tired Monday and tired yesterday, and I got a sleep in today, which was nice. You have to pace yourself throughout the week and get your mind wrapped around what this week is going to be like.

"It's going to be a lot less stressful, but that being said, you want to have a lot of meaning on Sunday.

"I'm excited with the amount of rest I've got and I feel like my game is in good shape. It's time to take a deep breath this week and get back in the normal routine.

"Last week was so out of the ordinary, it's great to be back to what we're used to."

Snedeker shot a closing 64 at Harbour Town last year before beating Donald at the third hole of sudden death, and the 31-year-old is keen to make a good defence of his title.

"It's always a special feeling," he added. "I've done it once before and I played terrible. At the Wyndham Championship (which he won in 2010) I missed the cut, so I'm trying to take a different outlook this time around.

"I feel like my game's in good shape, which obviously makes you feel a lot more relaxed.

"It's great to be back. You realise that you relive some of the great memories I had last year, replay some of the shots and that kind of stuff."

Meanwhile, Donald will be out to put a disappointing week at Augusta behind him and claim a second win of the season to consolidate his position at the top of the world rankings.

Donald could have been overtaken by Rory McIlroy or Lee Westwood at The Masters, but with McIlroy fading badly and Westwood falling short of a first major title, the Englishman held on to top spot despite finishing 32nd at Augusta.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington fared better with a tie for eighth and will be among the favourites at a Harbour Town venue which favours accuracy and a good short game over power.

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