For those of you who enjoy golf and, at a minimum, watch the occasional PGA tournament read on. For the rest of you (particularly RJF) I will post a second blog right after this one. But, in light of what happened at the Masters last Sunday, I feel compelled to make a few more comments. As you well know Rory Mcilroy led the tournament for three days. He was in the final pairing on Sunday. Looked somewhat shaky at the outset but it appeared that he might keep it together for a win. After all he did hold a four shot lead at twelve under par. He played the front nine one over. Still had the lead although it had shrunk and there were other players now nipping at his heels. Then tragedy struck. Rory triple bogeyed the tenth. He bogeyed the eleventh and double bogeyed the twelfth. In less time than it takes most of us to get a snack together during a commercial Rory had fallen right off the leader board. Keep in mind this is the Masters. The rewards of winning are huge. The fame, the glory, the green jacket, never mind the million dollar cheque and the endless endorsements that come with winning this particular major often define a golf career. But he buckled. He snapped. He folded. The pressure got to him.
Only those that golf can feel just a little of what he experienced that day. I cannot even begin to imagine the pressures he felt. I know the pressure I feel when I am in a competitive game. When I play for two bits a hole. Golf is all about mind over matter. It is truly amazing how something that comes natural, most times, can become totally unnatural when there is a little pressure on you. I can have all the confidence in my swing but put a dollar or two on the line and without warning the swing can become an exercise in futility. The mechanics break down. Doubt takes over and before you know it you see your ball disappear into a hazard. Like Lee Trevino once said, “You don’t know what pressure is until you have played for five dollars a hole with only two in your pocket”. (It goes without saying that I am again reminded of farming.)
Sometimes you just need to laugh. Kevin Na, another professional golfer, shot twelve over par yesterday. ON ONE HOLE. Seriously. If you want a chuckle go to Golf Channel’s website and watch the video. Often when I watch golf I find myself saying, “boy, I wish I could do that”. Guess what. Watching the video of Na trying to get out of the trees, as it were, finally gave me the opportunity to say, “hey, I can do that”. The problem is, that is something I would like to avoid. It’s like they say, “Just when you think you’ve got the game conquered, the game conquers you”. Make it a good one.