LYTHAM St. ANNES, England — The last time Brandt Snedeker had this kind of a round when it really mattered, he sobbed into a towel after blowing his chance at a green jacket at the Masters.
He finished this time with a smile on his face, still in the hunt in the British Open after refusing to let another wayward round get away from him like it did four years ago at Augusta National.
Two birdies in the final three holes can do a lot for a guy's frame of mind.
"It's just kind of one of those things where you've got to find out if you have some guts or don't," Snedeker said. "I could have packed up and gone home today, but I didn't."
Snedeker's 3-over 73 got him a date with Tiger Woods in the next-to-last group, within shouting distance of the lead held by Adam Scott.
Not exactly where he pictured himself entering the day after two rounds of playing bogey-free golf at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. But good enough to get a shot at the claret jug should he get off to a fast start in the final round from four shots behind.
"I still have a chance," Snedeker said. "This course is not playing easy. I showed that today. If you don't keep the ball in play, you're going to struggle, and I did not do that today. So you never know what might happen."
What happened Saturday might have crushed Snedeker just a few years ago. The fact it didn't showed a lot about his maturation as a golfer and a competitor.
He led the Masters early in the final round in 2008 only to balloon to a fat 77 that left him disconsolate outside the media center.