archive, leadership, sports

Phil Mickelson’s Perseverance

Congratulations to Phil Mickelson for winning the 2013 British Open (or as they call it over there, the “Open Championship”). He did so in dramatic fashion, with one of the best final rounds ever – he trailed by 5 strokes to start the day and won by 3 strokes.

What is even more remarkable is what he has had to do in order to get to that accomplishment. First, here is his record in past British Opens:

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
DNP T73 DNP DNP CUT T40 T41 T24 79 CUT
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
T11 T30 T66 T59 3 T60 T22 CUT T19 DNP
2010 2011 2012 2013
T48 T2 CUT 1

That doesn’t look the resume of someone who was about to win this tournament. You see, Phil struggled his entire career getting used to playing the types of courses in England and Scotland, and he didn’t do too well.

On top of that, just a month ago Phil finished second in the US Open, for the SIXTH time. The tournament he most wants to win in his career is the US Open and he just can’t seem to do it. Well, after laying in bed for two days after another disappointing finish, his family forced him to get up and go on vacation to clear his head. In just a month, he put all that behind him and focused on the next challenge and ended up winning.

So let’s think about the work and dedication required to go 23 years before winning this tournament. Many other players would have just stopped making the trip over to Scotland every year, but not Phil. He started going over more, in fact winning the Scottish Open last week in preparation for the British Open.

We all have to sometimes buckle down and work just a little bit harder to achieve something, and we have to have the will to ignore the past disappointments and fight another day.

Congrats Phil, and thanks for teaching us all a great lesson.


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