Tips for performing on the course under pressure

By Tyrus YorkOctober 1, 2012, 11:30 am

The United States spent the first two days of the 2012 Ryder Cup coasting in the fourball and foursome matches to claim a 10-6 lead going into the final day.

But Europe staged a miraculous rally Sunday to win 14½ to 13½, and the end result is more evidence of just how special the Ryder Cup is.

The pressure the Americans faced on the back 9 during the Sunday singles matches had to be overwhelming.

On the other side, the Europeans had a different kind of pressure to deal with, as they knew what they had to do and they did it. They quickly turned the tables on the Americans and put the pressure squarely on their shoulders coming down the stretch.

Most of us will never know the pressure Team USA felt Sunday. But if you’ve played golf at any level competitively, or even had the opportunity to beat your playing partner for the first time, then you know what pressure feels like on the golf course.

So how can you stay in control of your game when the heat is on?

Follow these tips to perform well under pressure:

Breathe: You would be amazed at how easy it is to forget to breathe when you start feeling anxious on the course. Short, shallow breaths are nearly as bad as this prevents the proper amount of oxygen from getting into your body. Your brain senses the lack of oxygen and next thing you know you’re freaking out before playing a shot. If you start feeling anxious, take a few slow, deep breathes to completely fill your lungs with air. Hold it in for a few extra seconds then exhale. This will calm your nerves and allow you to perform.

Prepare properly with quality practice: Just like when you take a test, if you study properly you’ll probably do well. Golf is no different. If you’re faced with a downhill, left-to-right, must-make putt on the 18th green to win a tournament and you’ve practiced that same putt over and over, how much easier do you think it will be?

Use nervous energy to your advantage: You will get nervous when the pressure is on, but learning how to use that nervous energy to narrow your focus is what can separate you from your opponents. The simplest way to do this is to focus solely on your desired outcome. See the shot you want to hit, tell yourself you can do it, and then execute. If negative thoughts creep in your mind, start over. Practice thinking properly by eliminating negative thoughts and you will welcome playing under pressure.

Take an online lesson with Tyrus York.

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

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In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.