Date: August 09, 2012
Author: Luke Elvy / Golf Australia

Luke Elvy blog: Getting back on the horse

I heard the PGA Championship called golf’s Ringo Star today, nice line but every great rock band needs a drummer. It’s also affectionately known as Glory s Last Shot. Don t understand? Ask any of the 153 players in the field who haven t won a major this year and then you ll get it. There s only a select group who have claimed one of golf’s Big Four, that s why major champions are treated like rock stars for the rest of their lives. Every player will tell you how hard they are to win, perhaps with the exception of last year s PGA champion Keegan Bradley who became just the third player to win on debut (Francis Ouimet 1913 US Open & Ben Curtis – 2003 Open Championship) when he overcame Jason Dufner in a playoff at Atlanta Athletic Club. For the vast majority it becomes a lifelong quest. Some find it a goal too great to reach, others are teased by the endless pursuit (Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia & Lee Westwood come to mind) while a small minority get it done. Unfortunately, if unsuccessful they get tagged with the cruellest title in golf The Best Player Never to Have Won a Major. Despite all of Adam Scott s immense talent, winning a major has only recently become an obsession yet he’s already tasted the bitterness of defeat. But after speaking to him following his heartbreaking loss at Royal Lytham & St Annes I feel he ll fall into the Rory McIlroy category those who got bucked of the horse & instantly get back on. The Olympics – that wonderful celebration of sport is full of athletes overcoming adversity & they have to wait 4 years to do it! Aussie cyclist Anna Meares suffered a broken neck in an accident in early 2008 but remarkably made it to the Beijing Olympics only to lose the final of the sprint to Great Britain s Victoria Pendleton. Hard work, dedication & determination over the next 4 years ensured she beat her arch-rival Pendleton in the gold medal showdown just the other day in London. What about US sprinter Alison Felix, it took her 8 years to taste redemption in the 200m. As an 18 year-old she came second to Jamaica s Veronica Campbell in Athens, that silver medal was sheer joy. But in Beijing & reigning world champion, coming second to Campbell (AGAIN) wasn t as fun. I don t think I ever want to get over it, Felix said later. I never want to be satisfied with losing. Those words have even deeper significance now after she finally claimed gold overnight. Back to golf and within 48 hours of Scott losing The Open, he responded to the email I sent commiserating him for the loss but congratulating him for the manner at which he handled the heartbreak. His response was one of gratitude for what I had written but one line stood out, it said, I will keep working hard and I will create more chances. I have more belief than ever that I have the game to win multiple majors. Read that quote again let it sink in. Legendary boxer Mohammed Ali has many quotes and one-liners he’s famous for but one has more impact to me than all the others and I ve carried it around in my wallet for the past 20 years, it says Champions aren t made in gyms. Champions are made from something deep inside a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. Adam, I wish you & the other nine Australian s teeing it up at Kiawah Island this week the best of luck. But something tells me you won t need it. Luke Elvy hosts golf for Network TEN, is currently covering the PGA Tour in the US and is a freelance columnist for His views do not necessarily represent those of Golf Australia. You can follow him on Twitter: @elvisgolf.