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Golf: Tiger Shows Courage Under Fire

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“To me, Tiger Woods is the most remarkable athlete I've ever seen. His courage under pressure is off the charts.” That’s from Jerry West, the NBA Hall of Famer who added, "because golf is the ultimate battle within a battle, and especially at the end when the pressure is highest.."

Forgive my blogger’s licence, I’m aware my headline reads, “Courage Under Fire” and Jerry said, “Courage under pressure.” Not quite the same if we’re talking about bullets but has stressful similarities.

Jerry’s comments come from Jaime Diaz who headlines his article, “Golf Requires The Hardest Thing To Pull Off In All Of Sports” and writes, “closing out a golf tournament is the hardest thing to pull off consistently in all of sports.”
Note the qualification of consistently, because this is important when deciding if golf and Tiger’s record shows consistent courage under pressure is a valid comment.

“Woods' career 92-percent closing average in PGA Tour events--going on to win 48 of 52 times when holding or sharing the 54-hole lead--is his greatest record”

Jaime’s article is nspired by thoughts of Kyle Stanley’s collapse under pressure at Torrey Pines and Spencer Levin the following week in Phoenix. And since it’s a brief article Jaime doesn’t go into mind game theories or what the shrinks say, “When stress starts to gum up what seemed automatic, even the pro comes to the grim understanding that the aerodynamic marvel that is so much fun to hit so far might suddenly be going pretty much anywhere.

Jaime does make an interesting observation. “Inward and non-verbal is traditionally the way of closers.” And in reference to Kyle Stanley’s demeanour, "There is about the kid a narrow-eyed, Clint Eastwood thing that he reinforces by being selectively inarticulate.”

Selectively inarticulate sounds like a couple of guys I mix with at the 19th hole when it’s time for their shout. And come to think of it, also narrow-eyed and looking out of the window instead of towards the bar..

Here’s the link to Jaime

Quote(s) of the Day

“Let’s not go and ruin it by thinking too much.” Clint Eastwood, famous actor who plays off around a 10 handicap.
Compare this with Michael Jordan one of basketball’s greatest closers who ranks about 5 in the celebrity golfer’s handicap list and plays off around four.

And on closing it out...but not always.
“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

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