Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Rory

There's been a lot of hand-wringing over Rory's final round collapse on Sunday night. Alot of sympathy too. More worryingly, though, there's been a fair bit of criticism!

People have objected to his level of tweeting when he should have, they imply, been out practising. Or, they say, he's been a professional long enough that he should have the mental fortitude to overcome such pressure. I find such arguments cruel and baseless.

I'm not actually fussed by his age and the argument that he has plenty of more time and that eventually he will realise his enormous potential. My argument is that every golfer has a weakness... and the truly great golfers tackle these head-on and overcome them.

Jack Nicklaus had one: back in 1972 he struggled during the third round of the Masters (although he still led by three shots), failing to find the ball flight he needed on his iron shots. He couldn't achieve the height that Augusta's greens demanded. He walked off the 54th hole, went to the practice tee, and practised and practised until he got it right. He went out the next day and won.

I don't have similar stories about Ben Hogan or Arnold Palmer - but they'll be out there - but Tom Watson was known for his failings on short putts... even though he was regarded highly for his putting. He won 8 majors and was number one in the world between 1978-1982. Rory can take heart from that.

And, needless to say, not all weaknesses are on the course... need I mention Tiger's?

Rory will get better. Everybody knows it. Perhaps what he did on Sunday at the Masters, was to scare the bejaysus out of us, and himself, and prove that youth, exuberance and bundles of talent can have their limitations when the pressure is on. Footballers miss penalties, rugby players drop the ball, tennis players blast it long... and golfers have so much precision in their swing that the tiniest, microscopic bit of self doubt can produce an unravelling of gargantuan proportions in front of millions of viewers on a Sunday night.

And a congratulations to Schwartzel for a stunning finish and a deserved win.

A good article I found:

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