Getting Away With An Ugly Performance
All golfers have heard the adages, “A win is a win” or “It’s better to be lucky than good” but what is the true value of an ugly win? Aside from the money, victory or points, how does an ugly win affect future performances? It really is a matter of how you evaluate your performance. An athlete can view the ugly win as a wake-up call and strategize how to perform more consistently, manage emotions/ anxiety or finish strongly. Alternately, an athlete can see the ugly win as evidence that he doesn’t need to strive for perfection in order to secure future victories. Your ability to win ugly can make the difference between winning and losing a tournament.
Adam Scott, Australian golfer rank No. 2 in the World, won ugly as he defended Australian Masters title securing back-to-back tournament victories (2012, 2013). Scott squeaked out the victory despite an attempt to overtake the lead by American Matt Kuchar. Heading into the last day of play, Scott had a four-stroke lead and appeared well on his way to earning the gold winner’s jacket. Kuchar played an amazing front nine on the last day to place himself in contention for the victory. Scott doubled bogeyed the par-three 14th hole that handed Kuchar a two-stroke advantage. Scott rebounded with a birdie on the next hole then finished the course with three straight pars. Meanwhile, Kuchar crumbled over the last few holes bogeying the 16th hole and double bogeying the final hole.
After Scott tapped in a three-foot par putt on the last hole to seal the victory, he realized his good fortune, “I guess today, sometimes you kind of win a little bit ugly.” Scott also gave himself credit for his early play, “All of the good stuff I’d done in the first three rounds counted for a lot” and was able to steady himself to finish the day strong. Scott realized that, despite the win, his inconsistent play was a wake-up call and he needs to improve his play if he is to perform successfully at future tournaments, “Even though it wasn’t the prettiest golf today… I got away with it, but I’ll have to learn not to do it next time.”
Sometimes you have to accept getting away with an ugly performance. You are not always going to have you’re A game in tact when you play. You want to accept that you can still score with your B game. Winning is not always easy. Sometimes you need to stick it out, fight hard and not implode. Finding the will to win with your B game is a characteristic of champions, but you cannot rest on your laurels and merely expect to win without working on your physical and mental games. It may be better to be lucky but, as Louis Pasteur put it, “Chance favors the prepared mind!”
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