In the follow up to the Open Championship, many pundits seem happy to conclude that Sergio Garcia is a serial choker. Loaded with talent. But lacking the killer instinct. The nerve. The mentality to tighten the screw in turning moments. How Sergio thinks about Carnoustie Sunday will have a significant bearing on his ability to prove the doubters wrong.
The correct approach would be for Sergio to do two things. One, to look at and confirm all the things he did well. All the things that meant he held a lead for over 3/4’s of the Championship. All the things that meant he came within an inch of being the Championship Golfer for 2007. Many positives to endorse.
Secondly, he must examine all the weaknesses that can be turned into strengths. His putting perhaps. And his day four leading from the front mentality. Can it be improved? If so how? He must analyse his mental and emotional responses to the day four challenges. How can he refine them? And he must desire to be in pole position come day four of the USPGA. To put himself to the test. Again.
Yes it would be tempting to shirk away. To hide in the pack and avoid the pain and inquisition. But that would be wrong. He must develop his day four Championship muscle. And that is best done in the heat of battle.
Between now and then, he must look within himself. A place beyond blame or being a victim of circumstances. But to discover the truth about any limiting psychologies that lurk in the shadows of his sub-conscious.
This self knowledge will be invaluable. It will give him the security of knowing exactly what to expect should he be in contention on a Major’s Sunday. And the wisdom of knowing how to respond. When Sergio’s mentality is stronger than his emotions, the doubters will be proved wrong.