“Golf is a search for perfection, for balance. It’s about meditation and concentration. You have to use hand and brain.”
The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.
Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.
Putting is like wisdom – partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience.
What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.
Who is Melissa Reid?
If you are a golfer or a golf fan, more specifically, a follower of women’s golf and you are acquainted with the Indian Open held last week at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon, you would know that she’s the fourth ranked player on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
Reid has been a professional golfer for the past seven years.
She was rookie of the year in 2008.
She won her first title in 2010—the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.
She has four more titles to her name:
Deloitte Ladies Open 2011
Open De España Femenino 2011
Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters 2012
Turkish Airlines Ladies Open 2015.
It was in May 2012 that Melissa lost her mother Joy in a car accident. Joy was travelling to Munich to see her daughter take part in a LET event. Her husband, Brian, survived. Joy succumbed to internal injuries in the head-on collision.
Reid did not stop golfing but her performance deteriorated.
In 2012, Reid was well on her way to being Britain’s No. 1 woman golfer.
Reid says that the attempts at continuing “papered over the cracks”.
Her personal life suffered and her ranking plummeted to 333.
Speaking to ESPNW, she said:
“I was a mess.I wasn’t coping, I was rebelling. I was spending time with people who partied. I was hitting the self-destruct button. I was with a lot of people, but I was lonely.”
Things took a turn for the better last November when she met Kevin Craggs.
Craggs is now her mentor and coach.
“I always say to my players when they first come: I can teach you and to do that I don’t need to know you. But to coach you, that’s very different. Teaching improves the swing, coaching improves your psychological outlook, your lifestyle, your tactical game, everything.”
“I was having doubts for two years. I didn’t really have anything else to do, though.
I was lucky, Kev saved my career. I sat with him at breakfast after we started and I just told him everything, stuff I’d never said out loud. It wasn’t easy, but doing it lifted such a weight off my shoulders.”
Matt Cooper writes:
“Reid grew in confidence over the winter: ‘I began to notice that for the first time in ages I wanted golf again. I worked harder, I had more focus and I began to get rewards.’ In May she returned to Turkey, scene of her first professional win in 2010, and claimed her fifth LET title, the first since Prague.”
What’s the difference between the Melissa of then and now?
Craggs puts it succinctly:
“We recently discussed that very subject and you know what I told her? I said: You possess the B word and the B word is balance. Career, technique, thinking and lifestyle, they’re all in balance. When a sportsperson — or a businessman, or anyone for that matter — is at their happiest, they’re in balance.”
“Having what has happened to me as a professional golfer, in sport, is difficult. I was having to put on a face and it was hard work. I was sad, I was feeling really sad. Now I feel very different.
I don’t want to not talk about it because I don’t want people to forget what sort of woman my mum was. You never ever forget what happened, you never ever forget the pain, but you must use it almost like energy. Giving up is the easy thing to do.”
Melissa is one of the most glamorous faces on the Ladies European Tour.
She claims that prior to her mother’s death she was more of a golfing robot.
“I think I was very much protected. I had a lot of people do a lot of things for me and when something like that happens to you in your life, you have to step up.
It makes you realise a lot about yourself and there were a lot of things I didn’t particularly like about myself. I thought I was pretty much invincible and all I thought about was golf.
So if there is any positive that’s come out of it, and it may sound clichéd, I’ve certainly discovered myself.
I’m certainly not a robot, I’m a human being and I want to be the best person I can be as well as the best golfer I can be.
Before all I thought about was golf.”
This year, Melissa was back to representing Europe at the biennial Solheim Cup.
The Cup is played against the US. Melissa last played in 2011, with Europe claiming the title.
The tournament is played over three days.
Melissa was in India recently for the Indian Open along with Solheim teammate and last year’s winner Gwladys Nocera of France, Thidapa Suwannapura of Thailand, fellow Brit Trish Johnson and Cheyenne Woods, niece to Tiger Woods.
India’s top golfers Vani Kapoor, Sharmila Nicollet and Vaishavi Sinha also participated.
Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen clinched the title pushing her closest contenders Cheyenne Woods, Becky Morgan and Malene Jorgensen to joint second place.
Melissa made the cut but finished 30th.
She continues to be No.4 on the LET.
Melissa is active on Twitter and tweets at @melreidgolf.
Her Facebook page (Community) has not been updated since 23rd September, 2012.
Her Instagram account buzzes.
Anirban Lahiri is the next great Indian hope. The sport is golf.
The 28-year-old finished joint fifth at the the PGA championship—the final Slam of the year.
It is the best ever placing by an Indian golfer at a Slam surpassing Jeev Milkha Singh’s tied ninth place at the 2008 PGA event.
This is just the beginning for the young man who won the Long Drive competition on the Tuesday before.
Lahiri is in line for being the first Indian golfer to be an endorser for Rolex watches.
Lahiri’s manager, Neeraj Sareen, said:
“We are almost on the verge of signing a contract with Rolex. They got interested in Lahiri once he entered the top-50 in the world and earned a ticket to all the four Majors. He recently signed a multi-year deal with leading Italian luxury clothing brand Chervo. He has been wearing Chervo clothes since the British Open and has got good results there and in the PGA Championship too. My phone has been ringing continuously in the past couple of weeks and there have been many brands who have shown interest in him including Banyan Tree Hotels, with whom we are likely to sign a contract in the coming week or so.”
Over the past 18 months, Lahiri’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric beginning at 195 and currently at 38.
Lahiri is also the first Indian to play at all four majors in a calendar year only missing the cut at the US Open.
Can Lahiri be the one who makes history for Indian sport by inscribing his name on one or more of the golf majors?
We will wait and hope.
Is Tiger Woods finished?
A second consecutive failure at making the cut in a major probably has sports journalists scurrying to pen obituaries for probably the greatest golfer the sport has ever seen.
Woods last won a major in 2007. Since then, he has battled injuries, an infidelity scandal with the fallout a divorce and intensified scrutiny of his private life and the results have just dried up since.
Jilted lovers and wives who have been subjected to philandering husbands may discover some poetic justice in the high-profile athlete’s predicament and subsequent travails. It would be hard put for anyone (with an axe to grind or not) to not see some connection between his fall from grace and his fall in the rankings since.
That’s as it may be. That’s not for us to decide or deride.
Woods seemed to be putting it all behind him when he recovered his much-vaunted form and reached the apex of the rankings in 2013.
But the Slams still eluded him.
I don’t watch golf. I probably never will.
But there was something mesmerizing about a Cablinasian (Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian) male making it to the top echelons of a sport considered the last white man’s bastion and that too in style. His egalitarian appeal transcended race and nationality and he was the face and spur behind Nike’s foray into the game.
Woods may never win another major. He may never make it past Jack Nicklaus’ 18 Grand Slams.
Arguably, he may never go down as the greatest golfer of all time.
But he deserves to be allowed a chance to enjoy the game in which he achieved greatness, he deserves to be cut some slack while he goes about reinventing his swing and other aspects—yet again. Like all superlative sportsmen, the man craves perfection and it would be foolish to dismiss his reactions to his recent failures as living in the past or excessively positive.
Golf, thankfully, is not a young man’s sport. At least, that’s what pundits would have us believe. I’m not too sure given that major winners are getting younger by the generation.
But the game and its fans will always be thankful to the man who made it one for the masses across the classes in his era and the next.
What she said:
“I was shocked. I thought at least, you know, I would get a face to face or something. But there was nothing. It was just a phone call and I did not hear from him again.”
Caroline Wozniacki reveals the back-story behind her sudden break-up with Northern Irish golfer Rory McIllroy. The nuptials were called off by the golfer ending a three-year relationship.
The luscious Dane said:
“It was very hard because he made it very public from the start. He put out a press release so I didn’t have a choice, you know, it just got put in my face.
I was shocked. I thought at least, you know, I would get a face to face or something. But there was nothing. It was just a phone call and I did not hear from him again.
I don’t think you expect to find yourself in a situation like that, you can’t prepare yourself or your body for anything like that so I think I was in a bit of a shocked phase there for a while.”
Wozniacki has since moved on and poked fun at her former boyfriend’s lack of inches.
“I went to Miami after the French Open and Serena was there and we had a great time. I came back from that and I felt refreshed, I felt like a new self.
I started practising towards Wimbledon and I was playing well. I think you just have to take life as it goes and I believe you never get things put on you that you can’t handle. I’m definitely on the other side now — I’ve moved on.
I think it is very important to have a life off the court and to me it wasn’t that hard to balance tennis and a relationship.
I would like a taller guy so I can wear my heels. Someone who is fun to be around who doesn’t take himself too seriously.”
McIllroy broke off the engagement claiming:
“The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.”
The ace golfer has since won two Slams while his ex-partner made only her second ever Grand Slam final at the US Open last week.
What Wozniacki really meant:
“Hell, I was supposed to be married and you pulled the rug from under me. You’re a rug rat.”
What she definitely didn’t:
“Well, at least, he didn’t post it on Facebook, direct message me on Twitter or IM me , well, anywhere.”
What he said:
"She has more potential at golf than I do at tennis.”
Irish golfer, Rory McIlroy, believes that girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki would be better at golf than him at tennis.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, McIlroy said (via Tennis.com):
Being a tennis player her upper body is pretty strong. She has more potential at golf than I do at tennis. The thing is that when I play tennis the competitive side in me comes to the fore and I want to play well every time but it just doesn’t happen. I would get more frustrated because I want to be able to grasp tennis straight away.
The golfer disclosed that Wozniacki is something of a mental coach to him.
"When Caroline and I might discuss our own sport, I am very interested in how she prepares herself for the mental side of big tennis tournaments like how she goes about setting goals or whatever.That sort of discussion gives me a good insight into how she deals with similar issues I might face."
What he really meant:
“She could probably drive like Tiger.I couldn’t serve like Roddick, though.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Soon, I’ll be caddying up for Caroline.”
"That was a joke, okay? Tiger – I – that was a joke.Americans got to learn how to have a sense of humor, okay?"
Presidential hopeful Herman Cain withdraws his endorsement of Tiger Woods as a prospective President claiming to have written a 2006 article in jest.
"Yeah I can be pretty serious.But also there are some things that, you know, you just kind of take tongue and cheek, and you don’t make a big deal of it. Alright?"
Cain is a syndicated columnist and a radio host besides being a successful executive. He currently leads the opinion polls among Republican candidates.
Cain is best known for his role in defeating Bill Clinton’s health care plan in 1993.
In his column titled “Tiger in 2016!”, Cain wrote:
Tiger will be 40 years old in 2016. The Republican Party should begin grooming him now for a run at the White House. His personal attributes and accomplishments on the golf course point to a candidate who will be a problem solver, not a politician.
Tiger’s success on the golf course, which will translate to success in the White House, is a product of his character, discipline and leadership by example. Tiger has one objective when he steps up to the first tee – win. The Republicans desperately need a candidate who will not seek personal legacies through political victories that compromise conservative ideology and increase the scope of federal government. Tiger’s legacy is already set.
In conclusion, the columnist said:
“The Republican presidential candidate in 2016 must not come from inside the Beltway. He must come from inside the fairway, for all of us.”
Tiger Woods’ indiscreet liaisons outside his marital vows have witnessed not just the disintegration of his marriage but also his game. Woods has not won a tournament since.
What Herman Cain Really Meant:
“Remember Gary Hart? Don’t take it to heart, Tiger.”
What Herman Cain Definitely Didn’t:
“Elin (Nordegren), care to be my Sarah Palin?”
What he said:
“I threw the hot dog toward Tiger Woods because I was inspired by the movie Drive.As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger.’"
Brandon Kelly, who gained his fifteen minutes of fame by dunking a hot dog at golfing superstar, Tiger Woods at the Frys.com Open in San Martin, California last week, comes up with a bizarre explanation for his misdemeanor.
The 31 year-old claims to be a Woods fan.
"I honestly wish Tiger the best.One day I hope he breaks Jack Nicklaus’ record."
Woods, speaking to Golf.com about the incident, remarked:
"I guess he wanted to be in the news.And I’m sure he will be."
What Kelly really meant:
“Tiger’s lucky I wasn’t watching Demi Moore’s ‘StripTease’ instead.”
What Kelly definitely didn’t:
“Hot Dogs—Part Deux, here I come.”