Greame McDowell made only one bogey on the final round at Hilton Head. (Lecka/Getty Images)
By Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Inspiration flows from many places. Graeme McDowell, the RBC Heritage champion, was inspired from his failure. According to McDowell, missing the cut at this year’s Masters got him extremely motivated to excel on the Harbor Town Golf Links. Good came from the bad.
Inspiration can greatly influence our play on the course. To the field of sports psychology, inspiration impacts our intensity level. When you are inspired, your intensity level is high. You are motivated and extremely focused on the task. Whereas, being uninspired will cause low intensity levels. Or in other words, being uninspired feels as if the “fire in the belly” has burnt out.
Given, we are all unique, and we are all inspired by different motives. I am inspired when I play a new and difficult course. However, when I play my usual golf course that I have played 1,000 times, my play can fall flat. When I feel flat, my golf suffers.
As G-Mac proved this week, your best golf will be played when you are inspired. However, if you are having difficulties getting inspired for every shot, here are a few recommendations to boost your inspiration:
1. Pump up your intensity with a gentle hit to your thigh. At the start of your routine, hit your thigh -- not hard enough so that it hurts, but just hard enough so that you feel like you are pumping up your intensity level prior to your shot.
2. Get a catchphrase. Many of the players that I work with have a catchphrase like “find the fire”. They say this catchphrase at the start of the routine to feel that pump in emotion. Get a word or sentence that will give you a needed pump in desire prior to your shot.
Finding that fire in your in belly for every shot does not have to come from failure. The right words and actions can kindle the fire inside so that you can play your best golf every day.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf. He is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. Dr. Gregg is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has worked with many PGA tour players. You can see more about him at www.drgreggsteinberg.com, and you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the final round of the RBC Canadian Open from Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Scott Piercy finishes at 17-under par to capture his second PGA TOUR victory.
By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
Fast start: Scott Piercy won the tournament with birdies on four of his first five holes in the final round. He then played the next nine holes in 2 over and had missed the green on the 15 th only to chip in for birdie. It was his last birdie of the tournament and was his most important shot of the week. The fast start in the final round was appropriate since Piercy also had the fastest start in the tournament shooting 62 on Thursday.
Closing time: Sometimes tournaments are won by attrition. Robert Garrigus and William McGirt did not close well on Sunday. Garrigus played the last three holes in 1 over, while McGirt was 2 over on the last four holes. Keep in mind the 17 th hole is a 550-yard par 5 that is very reachable in two.
Wedge play: Piercy’s winning ways might have started two weeks ago in Silvis, Ill. He was determined to improve his wedge play and spent the first two days at the John Deere Classic working on his equipment. He took bounce off his wedges by grinding down the sole of the club. It was a trial and error process followed by dedicated practice sessions. The combination of practice and equipment came together this week.
Long vs. short: Garrigus was using the shortest putter on TOUR last season with a shaft that measured 28 1/2 inches. This year he has switched to a long putter with a 47-inch shaft. It has made little difference in results, though. Garrigus was 166 th in strokes gained-putting in 2011, and he is 148 th this year.
Consistent: Chris Kirk was amazingly consistent the entire week. He triple bogeyed his 18 th hole on Thursday and then made par or better on the next 52 holes before making a bogey on Sunday at the 17 th. That was his only bogey of the tournament.
Bunker game: McGirt entered this week ranked 164 th in bunker play, getting up and down 42 percent of the time. That number was painfully demonstrated on the final hole. He had to get up and down on the 18 th and hit his bunker shot heavy. McGirt was unable to make the par saving putt and finished one shot out of a playoff.
Ball striking: Garrigus let one get away. He was second this week in greens in regulation and led the tournament in driving distance with an average of 328 yards. Garrigus lost because of his putter. He took 33 putts in the final round and was 76 th this week in strokes gained-putting. On occasion, Garrigus moves his chest while putting that can cause the ball to start off line.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
William McGirt was in uncharted territory.
Only a week earlier, he finished a career-best tie for fifth. Sunday, he had a chance for his first career victory.
Instead, McGirt bogeyed two of his final four holes, losing a one-shot lead to finish one back of winner Scott Piercy.
"I had trouble getting the butterflies to fly in formation,” McGirt said. “Seemed like I had a lot of 30, 35-footers all day.”
If there is an upside for McGirt, though, it’s that he locked up his card for next season and guaranteed himself a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs.
“Being able to draw on what happened today in the future is going to be huge,” McGirt said. “I'll take a lot of positives away from this week. My No. 1 goal coming into this week was to make sure I locked up getting in the Playoffs. My second goal was to make sure I locked up my card. I accomplished both of those today. I would have loved to have won the golf tournament, but I played very well all week.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
If you ask Robert Garrigus, he shouldn’t have lost the RBC Canadian Open -- and it shouldn’t have been close.
“I should have won this golf tournament by seven shots. Everybody knows that,” said Garrigus, who finished a shot back of winner Scott Piercy. “If I could have just made a putt today. I don't know. It just wasn't starting on my lines. I hit a couple too firm and then I hit a couple too soft. I just couldn't get the feel for it.”
Garrigus took 33 putts in the final round and didn’t make a birdie until the 14th hole.
Two holes later, he gave it back with a bogey.
On the 18th hole, Garrigus had a 14-foot birdie putt to force a playoff with Piercy. He missed that one, too.
“I had so many easy putts today,” Garrigus said. “I hit it 6 feet on every hole it felt like today.”
He just didn’t make many.
Garrigus, who used to play with the shortest putter in the game at just 28 1/2 inches, switched to a long putter earlier this year. He said Sunday he’s still getting used to it.
It showed, especially on the 16th hole, where he missed a 7-footer for par to drop out of the lead. Two holes later, his birdie attempt came up short.
“It's a lot of fun to be able to do what we do, and that's what we live for, having to birdie the last hole to get in the playoff or win the golf tournament,” Garrigus said. “That's all I can ask. I just left it a bit short, and I'm sure I'll be thinking about that one.”
Scott Piercy shot a final-round 67 to win the RBC Canadian Open by a stroke on Sunday.
It’s the second victory of his career and moves Piercy to 13th in the FedExCup standings.
Share your congratulations here and we’ll pass it along to Piercy.
Scott Piercy shot a final-round 67 to win the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday, edging William McGirt and Robert Garrigus by a stroke.
Piercy got off to a hot start with four straight birdies early in his round, then avoided trouble over the final few holes to secure the victory.
It’s second win of Piercy’s career.
With the victory, Piercy earns the following:
Robert Garrigus has fallen a shot off the lead after a bogey on the 16th hole.
That leaves William McGirt, who made par on No. 16, and Scott Piercy, who missed the green right on his approach to the par-5 17th, tied for the lead at 17 under with a couple of holes to go.
We’re down to the final few holes at the RBC Canadian Open, where William McGirt just bogeyed the 15th hole to fall back into a three-way tie for the lead with Scott Piercy and Robert Garrigus.
Chris Kirk, meanwhile, is two shots back at 15 under.
For McGirt it was his second bogey of the day.