Sang-Moon Bae stayed positive despite some challenges on Sunday. (Pennington/Getty Images)
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Sang-Moon Bae, who captured the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday, did not look like a novice who had never won before on the PGA TOUR. Rather, he showed the composure of a seasoned veteran with many victories under his belt. Observing the thoughts and behaviors of Bae can bring many valuable lessons to amateurs about how to handle pressure down the stretch of a golf tournament.
Here are some key mental game insights to bring to your game:
1) Bae said he was nervous on the last few holes of the tournament. Amateurs need to understand that everyone gets nervous when an event is important. Anxiety is not your enemy. The secret to your success will be how you handle those nerves.
2) When Bae felt the nerves creep into his game, he indicated that he focused on his game. In other words, he was not thinking about his score or winning but the process of making a good swing. When nerves enter your game, have a swing thought that you can trust, then focus on the process of making good swings.
3) In the middle of the round on Sunday, Bae struggled. He had a double bogey on No. 9 and then made a sloppy bogey on No. 10. Throughout your round, you will face a few real challenges. I call them dragons. You must be able to slay the dragons and not let them get you down or have them kill your confidence. Stay calm and collected like Bae and realize your game will rebound if you do not hit the panic button.
4) Have lots of fun during the heat of competition. Bae said he had a great time during the tournament. It is hard to be very nervous when you are enjoying the moment. Joy will push out the nerves.
Bae won his first tournament because he had the mental fortitude to handle the pressure. Follow his lead and you will be much more solid under pressure as well.
Bio: Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players as well as top collegiate and junior golfer. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at www.drgreggsteinberg.com.
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton offers his Power Rankings for the weekly TOUR event as well as his Sleeper picks. But what about the players who don't make the Power Rankings but who can't really be considered Sleepers? Bolton will make one "wild card" selection from the large group of players who fall into that middle range but might rise up to claim the title. This week's pick is ...
Owns a progressively improving record
at Colonial with a T38 in 2010, a T16 in 2011 and a T5 last year. Didn't
crack my Power Rankings because he's failed to post a top 30 in his
last four starts dating back to the Masters. Hasn't broken par in five
rounds. Currently 44th on TOUR in fairways hit, T62 in strokes
gained-putting, 46th in adjusted scoring and 23rd in scrambling.
POWER RANKINGS: To read Bolton's top 15 for Colonial Country Club, click here.
Here is the live interview schedule for this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. All interviews will be streamed in the live video player, which is available via this link starting Tuesday.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
John Peterson, 2:30 p.m. ET
Corey Pavin, 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Zach Johnson, 10 a.m. ET
Rickie Fowler, after pro-am
Sang-Moon Bae, TBD
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Marc Leishman finished in the top 10 at this year’s Masters and PLAYERS Championship. Now he’s on the verge of earning entry into another big event. Leishman enters this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial at No. 58 in the Official World Golf Ranking; the top 60 at week’s end earn exemptions into the U.S. Open, which will be held June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Leishman is one of several players trying this week to secure their spot in the year’s second major. Sang-Moon Bae, winner of last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship, starts the week at 64th in the world ranking, while PGA TOUR rookie Luke Guthrie is ranked 68th. All three are in the field for this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational. The European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, also is being held this week at Wentworth Club in England.
Below is a list of players ranked between Nos. 55-70 who are not yet exempt for the U.S. Open (*- in Crowne Plaza Invitational field; #- in BMW Championship field):
55. Russell Henley
56. Marcel Siem#
57. Matteo Manassero#
58. Marc Leishman*
60. Chris Wood#
62. Hiroyuki Fujita
63. Jimmy Walker
64. Sang-Moon Bae*
65. Marcus Fraser#
67. Charles Howell III
68. Luke Guthrie*
69. Alexander Noren#
This is not the last opportunity for players to earn their way into the U.S. Open via the Official World Golf Ranking. The top 60 immediately following the FedEx St. Jude Classic, which ends June 9, also earn their way to Merion. Sectional qualifying will be held May 27 in Japan and England and at 11 sites in the United States on June 3.
Guan Tianlang has made two cuts in three PGA TOUR starts this year. (Revere/Getty Images)
Guan Tianlang has accepted an exemption to compete in the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. The event will take place May 27 to June 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Guan, 14, last month became the youngest player to make a cut in a major championship in PGA TOUR history when he finished 58th at The Masters Tournament with a 12-over-par 300 aggregate. His invitation to the first major of the season came by way of his victory at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. A native of Guangzhou, China, Guan followed up his performance at Augusta National Golf Club by making the cut two weeks later at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he finished 71st at 4-over 292. Last week he missed the cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship after rounds of 70 and 77.
Fans will be able to watch Guan's first two rounds at the Memorial through PGATOUR.COM's LIVE@ coverage.
“I am very excited to accept the invitation to play at the Memorial Tournament,” Guan said. “It is Jack Nicklaus’ event, and the same as all the golf fans out there I have very high respect to Mr. Nicklaus, not just as a golf legend, but also as a great person. He has been actively involved in the development of golf in China, and junior golf development worldwide, and as a junior golfer myself I appreciate what he has done to help us grow. My parents and I got the chance to meet him in person at the Masters, and that was one of the highlights of my week at Augusta National. I appreciate a lot the Memorial Tournament for having me there, and it is going to be a great week.”
Guan is ranked No. 78 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“The Memorial Tournament has been a strong supporter of amateur golf since its inception, and each year the winners of both the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur are always invited to participate,” said Memorial Tournament Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “With the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship becoming such an important event in the game of golf, and with the winner earning an invitation to the Masters and a spot in International final qualifying for the British Open, the Captains Club thought it was only appropriate to offer an invitation to the Memorial Tournament. We hope that in the future, we can make this a standard policy with our exemptions."
Justin Bolli carded Sunday's lone bogey-free round at TPC Four Seasons.
By: Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
IRVING, Texas -- Sang-Moon Bae pushed it perfectly. With a one-shot lead and facing a 171-yard tee shot at the 17th hole, Bae pushed his tee shot to the right. A 20-mile per hour wind, gusting from left to right, moved the ball in line with the water hazard. It cleared the water by about five feet, hitting the front of the green. Bae broke out in a big grin as he looked at his caddie, knowing he got away with a mistake that could have cost him the championship. The smile was even bigger 30 minutes latter, when Bae clinched his first PGA TOUR title with a par on the 18th.
Struggle: Everyone will look at Keegan Bradley’s missed putt from 3 feet, 11 inches at the 16th hole as the tournament’s tipping point. His birdie putt lipped out and Bae had a one shot lead with two holes to play. Bradley always hits his short putts firmly and that one carried a little too much speed to fall. He said he did not know if the pulled was pulled or just broke unexpectedly hard to the left.
It certainly was a key moment in the tournament but Bradley had other chances on a day that he termed “a struggle.” He left an 11-foot birdie putt short on the 10th hole and then three-putted from 17 feet for bogey at the 11th. Moon was struggling during that stretch and if Bradley had applied pressure at that critical juncture, the outcome might have been different. To his credit, Bradley said, “Moon played better than I did today. He deserved to win.”
Assist: Bae should send a thank you note to David Feherty. The CBS announcer might have saved Bae’s victory with a keen eye at the ninth hole. Bae drove the ball far left and tried to hit a high hook, over trees onto the green. It was a terribly foolish shot for someone who was 4 under and ultimately led to a double-bogey but it could have been worse. Nobody saw the ball land. Bae looked at the lateral water hazard, right of the green but you can’t just assume the ball had entered the hazard. Someone needed to confirm the ball actually went into the water or it would be treated as a lost ball with a stroke and distance penalty. Feherty was the only one who saw it fly into the hazard. Bae was able to drop by the green, instead of re-hitting the shot.
Bogey free: Justin Bolli had one heck of a day, shooting a bogey-free 65. It was the only bogey free round of the day and Bolli hit just eight greens. He scrambled his way around the course, leading the tournament in scrambling and taking just 21 putts. Bolli had won just $206,605 and ranked 151st in FedEx Cup points at the start of the week.
Tee times: TPC Four Seasons was at its most vulnerable early on Thursday. Keegan Bradley teed off at 7:40 a.m., shot 10 under and played the next 54 holes in one under. Of the top nine players, only two of them -- Justin Bolli and Charley Hoffman -- had afternoon tee times on Thursday. If you played late in the opening round, you were playing catch-up the entire tournament.
Medallion: Byron Nelson use to sit by the 18th green on Sunday and greet players as they left the putting surface. Nelson’s wife, Peggy, now sits on the first tee and says hello to contestants before they begin their final rounds. She wore a large gold medallion around her neck on Sunday that was both striking and historic. It was Nelson’s gold medal from winning the 1937 Masters. Byron had the championship medal made into a necklace for her, saying he considered that Masters his most important victory since it gave him the confidence to not only compete but to win at the highest level.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
Watch Bradley birdie the par-4 15th in Sunday's final round.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Keegan Bradley was hoping to go wire-to-wire this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. The disappointment of not being able to finish a job that started with a course-record 60 on Thursday stings, but he'll eventually look at the positives from nearly winning his second title at TPC Four Seasons Resort.
"Coming in second is great, which I'll love tomorrow," Bradley said after his final-round 2-over 72 left him at 11 under, two shots shy of Sang-Moon Bae's winning total. "Right now it's a little disappointing."
Bradley entered the final round with a one-shot lead over his playing partner Bae, fell behind by four shots early, then rallied to share the lead after making a putt from inside 18 feet at the 15th hole.
"I hung in there. I chipped away," Bradley said. "I was down four early on. I chipped away and got it back to even with four to play, which is all that I could have asked for. When I made that putt on 15, I was pretty confident that I was going to win this tournament."
But Bae made his short birdie putt on the par-5 16th while Bradley missed his from inside 4 feet. Bradley then bogeyed the 17th to cost himself a chance to win on the 18th.
"I love being in contention so I figured if I could hang and hang and hang, somehow I would find a way," Bradley said. "But just that putt on 16 was the end of it."