Mental toughness of golfers will get a workout at US Open

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BROOKLILNE, MASSACHUSETTS — When the 122nd US Open begins Thursday at The Country Club, the mental fortitude of the world’s best players will be put to the test by unremitting difficulties and hardship.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, who won his first major at Torrey Pines last year, will look to repeat on a 7,254-yard layout at the 140-year-old metropolitan club where golf has been played since the 1890s.

“I always enjoy visiting courses that were designed a long time ago,” Rahm added. “The architecture from that time period is still unique.”

It is, though, the customary difficult US Open setup.

“It’ll be lengthy rough and tough and quick greens,” fifth-ranked American Justin Thomas said. “This is old school.”

It is a mental toughness test as well as a shotmaking test, according to Spain’s second-ranked Rahm.

“It’s the US Open.” “You require everything,” he stated. “You must drive well, hit irons well, chip and putt well, and remain psychologically sane for four days.” You can’t run away. Period.

“Your greatest advantage out here is mental strength, and that’s what you need.” There will be a lot of holes where things will go wrong, but I just have to know that going in and accept certain things that happen. “Par is an acceptable score.”

Thomas, who won his second major at last month’s PGA Championship, agrees that adversity will be the genuine test of mental fortitude.

“A lot of it depends on how you play,” Thomas explained. “When you’re cruising and everything is going well, you just keep doing what you’re doing, stay focused, be in the present.”

“It’s when things start going south, or maybe you get a couple of bad breaks or some wind gusts, whatever it is, and you’re just dealt some adversity, and you’re like, how are you going to handle it?”

“I’ve learnt that when I’m in a major, those are the times when I get a little antsy.” Sometimes I almost try to force the subject. This is how a lot of guys are going to lose the tournament.”

Collin Morikawa, the reigning British Open winner, believes that acceptance is the strongest indicator of a positive mental attitude.

“We’re the finest players in the world, and we have high expectations of ourselves.” When you don’t perform as well as you would like, it’s natural to become frustrated. “It can be difficult,” admitted the seventh-ranked American.

“You just have to embrace the fact that you’re going to miss shots. It’s just a matter of navigating the procedure and ensuring you’re doing everything correctly in the run-up to the ball.

“There are so many little things that aren’t stated or heard because no one other than yourself would know, but that’s the problem. It’s the little things that make a big difference.

Source: AFP


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