July 31 2012
The PGA TOUR headed north for the RBC Canadian Open, and the competition for one of golf’s oldest titles was fierce from Round 1.
Scott Piercy surged to the top of the leaderboard early with a blistering 62, but his course record-tying effort did not get him much separation from the field. In all, 94 players shot 70 or better in the first round. Piercy didn't win wire-to-wire -- he had to birdie four holes early Sunday to regain the lead -- but he ended up winning by a stroke for his second PGA TOUR win in 11 months.
It wasn't always that easy. Piercy didn't really get hot until three weeks ago, when he tied for 12th at The Greenbrier Classic with four rounds in the 60s. He nearly won won the John Deere Classic, tying for third, and then made 20 birdies (and two eagles) at the RBC Canadian Open. The victory in Canada put him in the field for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational for the first time.
In short, Piercy was patient underneath the fire. Patience is a very real ingredient to good play and consistently good performances. In Piercy’s case, continuing in his rich vein of form was mainly a question of him exhibiting that patience, keeping his mind in the present and keeping his expectations low.
Too often, when a golfer is playing well (or poorly for that matter) his mind will tend to wander into the future. That is a dangerous place to be, because the mindset can lend itself to a results-driven mindset. In other words, an approach that lacks the requisite focus on the process required to play well.
Like Piercy, it pays to remain patient at all times; especially if your game is rounding into form. Hit shots on their individual merit and approach the game with a balanced and poised mindset. Don’t sweat the bad shots or the funky bounces and realize that -- as Piercy labeled it -- you play an "imperfect game."
Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.