If you want to win at the highest level, you must produce excellent stats that show that you are gaining on your competitors at each step toward a win. However, stats don't always predict a win. Still, it will undoubtedly tell you that you were in an excellent position to win.
You must also be bold and need some luck. You can't play it safe when the competition is fierce. At the highest level, everyone has the talent and is driven to do whatever it takes to win. This is what you see on the PGA Tour every week.
It is very difficult to make it on the PGA tour and even harder to make the cut in a tournament. Half of the players who play in a tournament do not get to play on weekends; hence, do not collect a paycheck. You not only have to have the game to be on the tour but not think that one shot could end up determining whether you make a paycheck or go home and try again. No one deals with instant rejection way golfers do. And remember players who play on the tour are top golfers in the world. They all have the game to win any tournament.
Each year, roughly 30 to 40 players win a tournament. At most, only four players can win major tournaments like the Masters, US Open, British Open, and the PGA Championship. Winning a major is a big deal since it puts a golfer in a very special category in golf.
This is what I observed watching the 2020 PGA Championship won by Collin Morikawa. He led in key stats used in golf called strokes gained, but that alone did not lead to his win. It put him in an excellent position to win. To win, he had to make a bold decision and get a little lucky.
He pulled out his driver on the risk/reward 16th hole and said: "Screw it, let's make something happen." Indeed he did. He hit the shot of the tournament as the ball stopped 7 feet from the hole. He eagled the hole and went on to win the tournament by two strokes over Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey.
But when you look deeper, you see how close this tournament really was. And the hole that was pivotal in deciding who won the tournament was the 16th hole. We all are going to face a risk/reward 16th hole in what we do. Are you going to play like Morikawa to win? Or are you going to play it safe?
Luck trumps good stats and boldness
I will use two players who hit an excellent shot on the 16th hole. One was Bryson DeChambeau, and the other was Collin Morikawa.
Bryson Dechambeau hit a terrific drive, but the ball bounced and veered to the right and stopped on the fringe of the green pin high. Since the ball was on the fringe, it made the eagle putt difficult. DeChambeau missed by a little and birdied the hole.
Birdie is good, but eagle is better.
A group later, Colin Morikawa hit a drive of his life that bounced on the fairway near the green and luckily got a good bounce, and the ball stopped 7-foot from the hole on the green making the eagle putt easier. Morikawa made the eagle putt and parred the next two holes to win the tournament.
Watching golf on TV lets you clearly see what we all need to do to win majors in our field.
Jay Oza is an author, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or a high-stakes speech. He is the author of a practical book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. You can get this book on Amazon for 99 cents for limited time. Please download the free speech checklist that you can use to help you create a winning speech for any situation.
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