The 2021 Women's US Open Golf Tournament had a lot of drama. It had Lexis Thompson, who looked flawless halfway on Sunday. At one point, she was leading by five strokes and looked like a sure winner. Philippine's Yuka Saso, playing with Thompson, looked like she was out of the tournament at one point. But in golf, especially the US Open, anything can happen.
And happen it did.
Thompson stopped looking flawless, and Yuka steadied her game. Saso fought her way back and got into a playoff and then beating Japan's Nasa Hataoka in the playoffs to win the Women's US Open.
I think three things were responsible for her win:
1) Copy a great player
2) Stay calm
3) Trust the process
Copy a Great Player
During the broadcast, the announcers on the Golf Channel compared Yuka Saso's swing to that of Rory McElroy, a great player on the men's tour with four majors. From watching the tournament, it was obvious that Saso had a very good repeatable golf swing. To succeed in golf, one needs a solid swing that is repeatable under pressure. And Saso showed this at the end that her swing was well-honed for a major golf tournament.
Saso has never met McElroy, yet from watching the videos, she has replicated her swing that is a carbon copy of McElroy's swing. Now we can all do this when it comes to writing, speaking, acting, etc. You just have to reverse engineer it and then see what works and how you can do the same. I think this is an excellent way to become a good speaker. People who are great at what they do tend to be very open about what they do. You just have to dissect it and make it your own. That is what winners do. Don't try to figure it out yourself. That is not how greatness works.
Saso did not play well in the beginning on Sunday but remained calm. She did not get flustered seeing her opponent was running away with the tournament. Saso could not do anything about Thompson's performance; she could only control her performance.
A winning professional in any situation knows how to stay calm when things are not going well. You do not want emotion to take over your objective on what you have to do to win.
Winning does not care that your feelings are hurt, or you hit a bad shot. Winning does not care what you think. Winning only cares about winning. You just have to learn to deal with this and become a winner.
Trust the Process
When Saso was interviewed after she won, she kept saying that she just trusted the process. This indicates that she was well trained mentally. Saso knew she would encounter difficulties but must stick to the process that got her to the US Open and in the final pairings. She did stick to the process and won.
In golf, Winning cares only about who posts the lowest score. You just have to trust the process that will get you that score. You can't abandon what you have done for hours, days, months and years when it matters. You have to stay faithful to the process and then see if you need to refine it, if necessary. Sometimes you can do everything right and lose. Occasionally, you can do a lot of things wrong and win. This is life. Just get over it and see if anything went wrong with your process. If not, continue to trust it.
Saso won one of the most prestigious tournaments. We all can learn from how she did it and succeed in something prestigious in our profession.
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