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Snedeker to end 'crazy year' with No. 1 hopes

Brandt Snedeker tees off on the sixth hole during the Pro-Am round of the World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, California, Nove
Brandt Snedeker tees off on the sixth hole during the Pro-Am round of the World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, California, Nove

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Brandt Snedeker will end what has been a "crazy year" of golfing success at this week's World Challenge with one eye already turned toward a 2013 campaign of even greater achievement.

The fast-talking American triumphed twice on the 2012 PGA Tour en route to becoming the U.S. circuit's FedExCup champion and, having broken into the world's top 10, he has set his sights on becoming number one.

"It's very doable," the ever-smiling Snedeker told reporters at Sherwood Country Club on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round.

"Look where I jumped from in the world rankings this year, getting to where I am now.

"Having another year like this year next year and I can really get up there. To get to No. 1 in the world you've got to be more consistent. You look at the way (top-ranked) Rory (McIlroy) is playing right now.

"He's not only winning but he's giving himself a chance to win almost every week, and that's huge. That's what you have to do to be No. 1 in the world."

Snedeker was ranked 38th heading into this year but has soared to 10th place this week after recording seven top-10s on the 2012 PGA Tour, including victories at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Tour Championship.

"It's been a crazy year needless to say, to have two wins and winning the FedExCup was obviously a huge, huge year for me, a career year so far," he said.

"I told people at the beginning of the year it was going to be the best year of my career and some people probably didn't believe me but I knew it would, and it ended up being so.

"I really feel like next year is going to be even better. I'm not trying to do anything different next year, not trying to reinvent the wheel."

Snedeker held off a late charge by fellow American Ryan Moore to win the season-ending Tour Championship by three shots in September, along with FedExCup honors and the eye-popping $10 million bonus.

However, he has not yet come to terms with the enormity of that mind-boggling windfall.

"I never check my bank accounts, and I checked it the day it (the bonus) was supposed to hit," Snedeker grinned. "It was just crazy.

"It doesn't sink in. It still hasn't sunk in, and it's two months later."

Snedeker, making his first appearance in the elite field of 18 at the Tiger Woods hosted World Challenge, will tee off with fellow American Matt Kuchar in Thursday's opening round.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Julian Linden)

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