Masters 2009 – Be your own golf psychologist like Angel Cabrera


I’ve been away for the last week and enjoying the undulating green fairways and even more undulating high-speed greens of Augusta National. Taking in the wonderful scenes, listening to the roars as Phil and Tiger hit yet more unbelievable shots and holed seemingly outrageous putts. And they were just the sideshow on the final day – what a sideshow! I’ve also been breathing in the atmosphere and soaking up the scenery – all those glorious Azaleas and the “herbaceous borders” of the colourful galleries.

Visiting Augusta for the Masters has been my dream for the last 40 years since I took up golf. Sadly, it’ll have to remain a dream – albeit a very vivid one this year with the hypnotic medium of Peter Alliss, Ken Brown and the High Definition Television coverage from the BBC. I just have to help one of my clients to get to the Masters and convince them to take me with them.

Wasn’t it just inspirational first nine holes from Phil Mickelson on Sunday and the amazing way that Tiger Woods clung on to his coat-tails, despite not playing at his very best? It was sad to see them fade as they seemed to realise they couldn’t quite win

It was sad to see how many really good players acting like they were beaten before they started. I’ll talk more about this tomorrow and I’ll also cover the contradiction between all those high-flying drives and the number of players who were reported to be happily “flying under the radar” in advance of the tournament.

For today, I’d like to close on just four of my hundreds of wonderful memories from this year’s Masters.

  1. The genuine and sportsmanlike applause from Kenny Perry after Angel Cabrera holed his downhill put on the 18th green to halve the first extra hole. He even topped it by then sharing a high five.
  2. Still with Kenny Perry, I will never forget his humble yet positive attitude in the post playoff interviews and his final comment, “But I’m not really going to go there, because if this is the worst thing that happens in my life, my life’s pretty good."
  3. The exhilaration in the voice, eyes and every pore of Phil Mickelson in his interview after the final round.
  4. Most importantly, the utter joy of winning from Angel Cabrera.

I’ll leave the last word top Angel Cabrera, “Now I don’t have a sports psychologist and I don’t smoke." As a golf psychologist, I’ll have to think about that one, maybe he’s the exception that proves the rule.

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