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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ernest Hemingway would get the U.S. Open

Mamaroneck, NY

Here are snippets from tomorrow's piece for cybergolf.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote that, “the purpose of art is to bring order our of chaos, a tall order when chaos is static and a superhuman task when chaos is multiplying.”

Hemingway should have covered the chaos that is the U.S. Open. This pressure cooker is a microcosm of the rule of how you’ll benefit from keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs. And there is a deep chasm of philosophy between the younger players yearning, hunting for their first taste of major victory and those who have broken through and won majors.

To paraphrase Hemingway again, the difference between the major talent and the major winner is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

On particular players prep:

Oberholser and Howell have the fearlessness of youth and the desire hungry animals. Charles’ eyes were steely and his speech crisp and full of conviction. He looked ready to go out and start right then and there. Oberholser seemed equally resolved – as if his way of dealing with the pressure was to welcome it and wrestle with it full bore. He seemed ready to rumble. Howell was only one notch down on the dial, despite having finished no higher than T-33 all year, (16 starts) excepting his T-2 finish in New Orleans.

Youthful exuberance and fearlessness don’t often carry the day at the U.S. Open and are even less effective at Winged Foot.

Perhaps no one is better positioned to comment about winning a major than past major champions. As a group, they were slightly more subdued, most likely because they know what it takes to win, rather than think they are ready.

“It’s not so much walking on eggshells as it is cautious aggression” said 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel. “How did I learn to overcome the pressure? It wasn’t anything like ‘drawing from past experience.’ The nerves are always going to be there. You can’t get away from that, but I overcame the nerves and won the PGA simply because I got sick and tired of letting the mental side drag my game down.”

Tune to cybergolf for the rest


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