The luck (and skill and attitude) of the Irish

Congratulations to Darren Clarke for winning The Open today.   That means that golfers from Northern Ireland have won 3 of the last 6 majors!

Given the nature of the course and the difficult weather conditions, it’s amazing that he carded three rounds below par and one of level par.  That is a truly astonishing level of consistency.

At times he enjoyed good luck – the ball hopping over bunkers or kicking away from trouble.  But I’m fairly sure that if you looked at the events of the four days, the element of luck will tend to even itself out.

So how did Darren Clarke manage to win The Open after twenty attempts?

Well, I think it’s because he learned to play the game in his head.  At times he’s been a volatile player, but this week he was calm, clear and focused.  Earlier in the week he was talking to Ken Brown (now a commentator with the BBC), and he said that he knew his game was technically in good shape, if he could keep his head on.  Yesterday Darren Clarke (quoting Ken Brown) said:

Let your attitude dictate your game, not the other way around.

That’s a pretty good thought for all of us to take into next week.

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