Anyone who has played competitive golf knows this nightmare scenario:
You’ve warmed up for an hour on the range, striking nearly every ball just as you envisioned. You’re clipping pitch shots with precision and calmly rolling home putts without thought. Your confidence level couldn’t be higher.
But then you walk up to the first tee and exchange scorecards with other players in the group. As the pairing ahead wanders farther down the fairway, your heart beats a little faster. Your name is announced and everyone is looking at you. For the past hour and a half, there were no consequences. Now there are only consequences, and one bad swing can distort reality long enough to ruin your round.
Rory McIlroy has now lived this out at the Open Championship. For all the time spent talking about the tournament’s historic return to McIlroy’s native Northern Ireland and how meaningful it would be for the country’s greatest golfer to win his first major in nearly five years, it took only about 20 minutes for it all to come crashing down. A ...
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