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Golf: “Gutsy” Graeme McDowell

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland


Graeme McDowell’s “gutsy” performance on the last few holes at Sherwood Oaks has surely cemented his reputation as never give up Graeme.
Watching Gmac doing a “Tiger” on Tiger on Tiger’s ‘home turf’ at Sherwood Oaks was as memorable his performances at the U.S. Open and the Ryder Cup.
For those who didn’t see it live, and will only have to rely on the highlights, it may well be they will only see Gmac holing lengthy putts on the final hole and on the play off hole. However the best example of his “gutsy’ attitude was at the par three seventeenth. 
Forced to take a drop, Gmac and his caddie took forever to decide the best location for a drop. And while the TV commentators suggested his best option was to return to the tee. Gmac had a lengthy look at his other options. Gmac’s calmness a sharp contrast to Dustin Johnson’s meltdown at Pebble Beach.
With escapology we have become accustomed to while viewing Tiger in his prime, Gmac salvaged a bogey and then in sinking two long putts on Eighteen and One became the guy who demolished Tiger’s reputation for never losing when one or two shots ahead going into the final round.
Gary Koch commenting on Gmac’s swing suggested it wasn’t sufficiently orthodox to make him a consistent winner. And yet at the same time as Tiger was saying he’d found how to “fix” his swing during the round, Gmac persisted in trusting his swing.
It would appear that Tiger has not read or if so not applied the thoughts of Fred Shoemaker in Extraordinary Golf: The Art of the Possible where Fred reminds his readers there’s no future in constantly seeking “Fix it” solutions.
Fred’s not as famous as Sean Foley or for that matter Pete Cowen who has been named Coach of the Year at the UK National Coaching Awards ceremony. And that was for all sports and not just golf. 
Gmac is one of Pete’s pupils and has been for some time and it has to say something about Pete’s philosophy that he hasn’t attempted to change Gmac’s swing.
And for anyone not familiar with Pete’s stable of students, it includes Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood who as it so happened this weekend walked away with a win at Sun City.
How’s that for an impressive coaching CV. The world’s Number One and two 2010 Major winners?
Finally a word about Gmac’s fellow-countryman.
The Rookie of the Year award has gone to Rickie Fowler and not Rory McIlroy and perhaps it should come as no surprise since the vast majority of players who cast their votes are American.
Gracious in defeat Rory said, "I'm happy for Rickie that he got it. Coming straight out of college, playing the Walker Cup in 09, the Ryder Cup, winning nearly $3 million, getting to 25th in the worth. It's a great first year. That's what a rookie should be — the first year. I don't feel like I should have been eligible."
Here’s a link to Pete Cowen’s web site for those of you who have given up seeking quick fixes.
Excerpt of the day
“Yeah, I mean I just really tried to get technique out of my mind. I became very technical during the season this year. I've never been a technical golfer. Starting to know a little bit too much about positions and what the club's doing and why and blah, blah, blah. I was becoming too knowledgeable about my own swing, and sometimes knowledge can be a bit of a disadvantage. So I really just tried to quiet my mind down a little bit and get back to playing golf.”
- Graeme McDowell interview at Dec 06, 2009

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