I’m neither a big golf fan nor a big Tiger Woods fan, but yesterday the TV was on in the background and this time of year there’s very little of interest on a late Sunday afternoon before cable series kick in. I do find interesting how golfers perform under pressure, since it seems that they are particularly vulnerable to “head games” as the final round is played and final holes draw near, despite thousands of hours of practice.
Sergio Garcia was tied for the lead with Tiger Woods until he put two balls into the water on the next to last hole, and one in the water on the final hole, dropping six shots back in just two holes. (Earlier in the tournament, he had complained that Woods, as his playing partner, deliberately distracted him on a shot. Why golfers need crypt-like silence to swing a stick at a ball I’ll never know.) Garcia has never won a major, and has never lived up to the potential most people believed he possesses.
Woods played extremely well, won by two strokes in a tight field, and seemed to relish the pressure. I believe he’s won four tournaments faster this year than any other, and he’s only a handful behind Snead’s record (I think that’s what Warner Wolf said this morning on Imus.) He a fearsome competitor, and is what they call in sports a “money player.” (And even he was clearly distracted during his famous marital problems and infidelity.)
Some of us cave under pressure, some of use find it nutritional. It’s a shame to get in front of a buyer and then fall apart, or to walk out on a stage and draw a blank. No one is shooting at us. Golfers walk on manicured lawns in the sun trying to win millions. We all have to put things in perspective.
Some people have legitimate, dramatic issues of health, family, and relationships. Most of us are trying to convey value, help people, and be paid for it. That’s our walk in the park.
© Alan Weiss 2013