Nancy and I watched the LPGA Championship this weekend. Under tremendous pressure, Australian golfer Hannah Green hit a shot out of the bunker on the last hole and sank a 6-foot putt to win by one stroke. We cheered for her to win.
I was reminded of this famous golf quote:
All professional golfers have to deal with pressure. Those who have never won a tournament on the tour deal with more pressure. Those whose whole country is behind them face even more pressure.
American golfers are generally playing for themselves. Because there are so many on the LPGA tour, Korean LPGA golfers are generally playing for themselves. Hannah Green was playing for all of Australia with Karrie Webb and young Australian women golfers who have won Karrie Webb’s scholarship watching intently from the gallery.
There are many back stories to Green’s win. One was a little girl who had written a poem for her. How a poem boosted Green to capture first major at Women’s PGA. Watch her interview below and you’ll understand what winning meant to her.
"It really is surreal."An emotional Hannah Green talks with Jerry Foltz following her incredible victory in Minnesota.
Posted by LPGA on Sunday, June 23, 2019
A few years ago I wrote: Take a Clue from Padraig Harrington: Pick Yourself Up and Try Again. I included a link to an Irish Times article that was one of the best sports articles I ever read: Vinny reflects on the wonders of Paddy’s ying and Yang. It was written by the Irish Times’ gambling writer and told as a story of gamblers who bet on Harrington to win the PGA only to be disappointed when he made a snowman on a par 3 hole. If you enjoy sports, I encourage you to read it.
Nancy and I were in Ireland that day. We sat at a pub and watched Padraig. Everyone in the pub was glued to the television sets because their national hero was in the lead of a major PGA tournament. At the time, Harrington was the face of golf in Ireland. That added pressure. Hannah Green was the face of golf in Australia on Sunday and she rose to the occasion. I was thrilled that she won.
What do these golf stories have to do with you? As lawyers we face pressure. I remember the most pressure I ever faced was defending a man I believed was innocent in a bribery case. As Padraig and Hannah felt pressure being the face of Ireland and Australia, I felt the pressure of being the face of an innocent man. I willed myself to persuade the jury he was not guilty. Thankfully, they believed me.