Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Masters Golf Tournament

The following is from a New York Times story, dated May 5, 2013: “In the second round on April 12, Woods’s third shot on No. 15 hit the flag and rolled off the green and into the water. Woods took a one-stroke penalty and dropped the ball in the fairway, a few feet from his original divot, and played his fifth shot.

“Woods unwittingly called his drop into question when he said in an ESPN interview that he took it two yards from the original spot, which was not ‘as nearly as possible’ to the spot from which he first hit, as the rules require. The next day, the Masters rules committee assessed Woods a two-stroke penalty and allowed him to play on, invoking Rule 33-7, which allows the penalty of disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard to be waived in exceptional individual cases. Woods finished tied for fourth.

“The United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient released a statement Wednesday, saying that Woods did violate the rules by playing his ball from the wrong place and that the ruling to allow him to remain in the tournament was correct. The application of Rule 33-7 was reasonable because the Masters rules committee failed to meet with Woods before he signed his scorecard.”

What caused Woods’ mental error on Saturday, the third day of the tournament? It’s important to remember that what takes place away from the golf course affects what takes place on the golf course. No one knows for sure but from my perspective Tiger could have had a little Friday evening spat with his new significant other, Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn, that affected his focus the following day. Or he might have gotten into a frustrating argument on his cell phone with his ex-wife Friday evening regarding a particular family issue involving their children, which often happens to men who have gone through divorce. When there are children from a former marriage, a divorce doesn’t end a relationship with an ex, but merely transforms it.

For those of you who follow my column know that I’ve been advocating for years that what takes place away from the field of competition affects what takes place on the field of competition, and how important it is that an athlete be happy and have his or her life in harmony and how that positively affects performance. A good example is Tiger Woods. In an article in today’s USA Today titled “A happy Tiger is a dangerous Tiger” fellow golf pro Steve Stricker observed that “he’s so happy.” According to the article: “Stricker and other players on the PGA Tour say Woods appears more at peace off the course, which they think correlates to improved play on it. Without expanding or giving away too much, Woods says there’s a correlation between the two.” And much of that has to do with his new relationship with Olympic Skiier Lindsey Vonn. So if you’re an athlete, it’s important that you learn from Tiger’s experience. When you’re happy and your life is in harmony you’ll perform close to your skill level on a consistent basis. Tiger is going to win the Masters. Post-Masters comment: I was wrong.


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