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Friday, February 3, 2012

Maybe JD's Been Talking to Sergio

Gonzalo "Gonzo" Fernandez-Castaño may be leading the Commercialbank Qatar Masters event on the European Tour, but it was John Daly who stole the show with a bogey-free round of 5-under in what the ET site dubbed a "desert storm."

You can find the first round summary here but I thought you might be interested in a few of Daly's comments. First, the ET reporter said:
The desert storm was such that many players wore sunglasses to try to limit the amount of sand blowing into their eyes on what Daly called a "brutal" day.
The reporter went on:
Daly's last victory was eight years ago, and he no longer has a US PGA Tour card.

It was in a strong wind that he won the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrews, but he did not expect this.

"I'm pretty shocked," Daly said after keeping a bogey off his card.

"I had five and a half weeks off and really didn't touch a club much.

"It's one of the best rounds I've ever played in a wind like that. You feel like you are eating a lot of sand."
Ironically, only 9 players in the field of 132 broke 70 in the first round... and one of them was John Daly.

I saw the interview with Daly on GC and he truly seemed as amazed as everybody else. Charlie Rymer suggested that JD tries too hard sometimes and maybe that five weeks away from the game was just what he needed.

Of course, Sergio followed a similar path during the last few months of 2010. As the old saying goes, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Sergio rediscovered his love for golf and it showed in his play last year.

I'm not quite sure that's what happened to JD... at least, not yet. I think Rymer was correct when he suggested that John had lower expectations -- and I suspect the harsh weather helped keep them down Thursday. And perhaps the time away from the game let him "forget" some bad habits he had gotten into -- we've all experienced that, haven't we? But you know what I think happened?

Maybe he was so tired of struggling that he just went out and played golf the way he knows best -- grip it and rip it. And, lo and behold, that was enough.

Sometimes we want something so bad that we get in our own way. Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations that put too much pressure on us. Sometimes -- and this is a tough concept for many people -- sometimes we just need to stop caring whether we do well or not. Sometimes we need to step back from trying to get better and just enjoy the act of playing a game we love.

I found this blog post at a site called The Passions and Possibilities® Network. I don't know the full intent of this site, but I liked what they said in this particular post. Plus they have a cool term for people who do what they love -- Passioneers™. I don't know if the old saying "Do what you love and the money will follow" is true, but I do know that people who do what they love tend to be happier and, quite often, more successful than people who don't. They're certainly more fun to be around.

You'll probably do better at golf -- and life, for that matter -- if you can become more passionate about it. That's certainly been a problem for JD, and hopefully some time away from the game will have done him as much good as it did Sergio.

Oh yeah, one last thought. Rymer said it would be harder to keep expectations down as the week wore on. But the ET reporter said:
And the bad news for the entire field is that the wind is expected to be even stronger for the second round.
Worse weather may be just the cure for high expectations. Maybe old Mama Nature is a JD fan after all.

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