With rain pumping down this washout of a Summer in London, I ended up watching the Open golf from Carnoustie on telly Sunday afternoon. It was gripping drama, with Sergio folding under the challenge from Padraig Harrington up to and during the eventual play-off.
Commentators rarely offer insight of note. Witness the risible Peter Alliss on the Beeb. Pompous at the best of times, his ability to underhwlem was never more noticeable than when he called Sergio’s final put on the 72nd as missing before it lipped out, removing much of the tension. What an idiot.
Luckily, the legend that is Sam Torrance was on hand to save the day. Remember how he reacted to sinking that Ryder Cup winning put on the Belfry’s 18th in 85? And then there was the interview with Steve Rider late on the Sunday night when clearly the worse for wear after he’d won the Ryder cup again, this time as Captain, also at the Belfry?!
As pressure was getting the better of most of the competitors, Sam recited a quote. He attributed it to 50s golf star Ben Hogan, said to Tiger Wood’s first coach (and also brilliant TV pundit), Butch Harmon, with the preface ‘ten two letter words’:
“if it is to be, it is up to me”
After all, who else can you rely on to make things happen…?
As an aside, Harrington attributed part of his success to US sports psychologist Bob Rotella. During his commentary, Sam Torrance (who’s father coaches Padraig) mentioned that Segio needed to calm down and not swing too much with the highs and lows. And that is precisely what Padraig reckoned Rotella had helped him with; dealing with adversity and not letting the emotion of winning take over him before it had actually happened.