Richard Finch is leading the Irish Open at Adare Manor, as he comes to play his third shot to the eighteenth. His ball is lying awkwardly, in rough, just above the water. Finch, then hits an iron shot onto the green, and as he does so, topples into the River Maigue.
“It was a bit of an awkward stance, but I never gave falling in a thought. The momentum of the follow-through took me round and in.” Finch commenting on his early bath. But what is impressive about Richard Finch, is that he never gave a thought to falling in the water. His focus was totally on the shot and the target. No distractions about what might happen.
It’s this quality of focus, that allowed him to execute his intended shot. If Richard Finch had allowed a fraction of uncertainty to enter his mind, he would have not hit the ball cleanly. It could have gone anywhere.
It’s a mistake many golfers make, when faced with a tricky shot. ‘I must avoid the trap’; ‘I mustn’t hit it in the water’; ‘I must miss the heavy rough’. All valid considerations. But thoughts that can serve to distract the mind, and reduce full commitment to the shot.
Good golf shots, are founded on clear decisions and commitment to those decisions. With a three shot lead on the final hole, Richard Finch could have fallen foul of the twin demons of fear and negativity. His mental strength and focus cost him a visit to the River Maigue. But, earnt him a winners cheque of 330,000.