Jordan Spieth fell back from leading the pack on Saturday, February 7th at the Waste Management PGA Golf Tournament to a tie for fourth place. "Spieth opened with a pair of 67s and then blitzed TPC Scottsdale on Saturday to the tune of 10-under 61."(1) His score of 61 was 10 below par for Saturday, but surprisingly on Sunday he was barely able to escape with a one over 72. "One day after…a bogey-free 61 to validate the hard work to resurrect his game, he showed there is still work to be done in order to return to the winner’s circle." [ibid]
“Felt like I hit good putts, and as much as the lid was open other days, it was closed today.”
One day mastery, the next day misery
Failing to score so well down the stretch left him with an admirable total and but also left him wondering at what happened to make Sunday so different from Saturday. The analyst might say Jordan needs a winner’s mental toughness – a mind to win that overcomes fears and distractions, or more discipline in his physical preparations for greater muscle memory so his shots are consistent - probably all true.
Sometimes life is like that. There does seem to be a mystery to the experience of bringing your good game one day and showing up flat the next. Who can completely control that?
It happens to me too
In my vocation I face off largely against myself, standing on trial before my own stat line. I can't let discouragement affect my game. Getting back into the necessary rigor of preparation with the help of any lessons learned from the time before is a requirement of my job. One reason I follow sports like golf, which I have rarely ever played, is the common experiences of competition against one's self and the spirit of champions who overcome obstacles, mental, physical or otherwise, in order to win.
All of us face some days we are fluid and others when we're flat. Maybe we can swing out of it, but sometimes we just take it and hope for a better day, while putting in all the work necessary to ensure success as much as it depends on us.
I agree with Mr. Spieth when he says:
"Stats are important to me, especially the ones related to scoring. You're going to miss fairways and greens out here, so how you play from the sand really matters." [Jordan Spieth - Wikipedia quotes]
Coming back from a bad experience on one fairway and green to play the next with fewer mistakes, or to play the same course the following day and not be intimidated by the sand traps and water hazards you swung into the day before, or to face your next tournament with confidence takes a champion's heart, and the mentality of an overcomer.
Saints need confidence too
For the saint of God coach Paul has said:
"We glory in tough experience, (games good and bad, sand traps and water hazards) knowing that such tribulation produces endurance, and endurance experience, and experience hope. Hope as saints won't leave us ashamed because the love of God that showed itself when we were without strength and still failing, was demonstrated when Christ died for us."
Romans 5:3-8 [paraphrasing mine]
As believers, if our hope is built only on a consistent sense of success in all our endeavors we will despair, but if we swing with the knowledge that God has loved us, and that Christ would demonstrate it for us while we were without strength and still failures, our confidence to face another day of traps and hazards will be greatly enhanced.
His love gets us on our feet in the morning, puts a fresh ball on the tee and cheers us on in our game despite the mystery of fluid days and flat.
Grace today y'all
1. Adam Schupak [Golf Week, 2/7/2021]