Greetings from Los Angeles where I will be coaching lawyers today for a 4th time this year. One thing we will discuss is what happens when you make a pitch to a potential client and you are not selected.

Did you by chance watch the British Open? If not, read: Henrik Stenson Outduels Phil Mickelson to Win British Open.

Mickelson played nearly flawless golf, only to lose to someone who played something just a little bit closer to flawless golf.

Before the Open, Mickelson had not been playing well. But starting on Thursday with a near record breaking round of 63, he was on top of his game. He still lost. How will he rebound from a disappointing defeat when he played so well ?

The PGA Championship Tournament will be contested this week at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.

In August 2009, Nancy I made one of our trips to Ireland during the week of the PGA Championship.  We sat in an Irish pub and watched it’s country hero Padraig Harrington lose a chance to win the PGA Championship. It was agonizing.

I wrote about it then and I wanted to share what I wrote with you again, including a link to a column written by a brilliant writer.

For those of you who do not like golf, I hope you will bear with me as I write about another golfer. I choose golf because to use a famous quote:

Golf Reveals Character

Practicing law reveals the character of lawyers, so we all can learn from those whose character is revealed internationally in front of millions.

When this is posted, Nancy and I will be on our way home from a week in Ireland. On Sunday, we played golf and spent time talking to two Irish couples who finished after us.

Our discussion focused on Padraig Harrington. I could tell he is a national hero.

After golf, we went to a busy pub at our hotel. We watched a semi-final match in the Ireland Hurling championship.

A few hours later, we returned to the pub to dine and watch the final round of the PGA tournament. During the first seven holes, the attention of every patron was focused on Padraig Harrington. I could tell his countrymen love him.

Needless to say the patrons were silent and then gasped when they watched Padraig go in the water twice on the 8th hole. I could sense their extreme disappointment after he posted an 8 on the par 3 hole.

The American golfers frequently say they feel more pressure playing in the Ryder Cup because they are representing their country, not just themselves. Padraig Harrington must feel that added pressure every tournament.

There is no way I can capture the feelings the Irish have for Padraig as well as Irish Times writer Roddy L’estrange. In his column, Roddy frequency writes about Vinny Fitzpatrick.

After the PGA tournament, he wrote: Vinny reflects on the wonders of Paddy’s ying and Yang.

Vinny tells his friends who lost money betting on him:

Put yourself in Harrington’s position. He knows he’s blown his chance of winning, but there are no tantrums…no loss of self-esteem. He comes across the same way when he’s on top of his game, as a gent. He acknowledges the crowd, doffs his cap, and smiles. Now, that’s easy when you’ve made eagle or birdie, not so easy when you’ve just had a snowman at a par three.

What can you learn from all of this?

I doubt you will ever suffer public humiliation before a worldwide TV audience of millions, but in your long career as a lawyer you will make mistakes, and the lawyers and staff who work for you will also make mistakes.

How you rebound from your mistakes and how you treat those who work for you when they make mistakes will reveal your character.

In those really tough times, think about Padraig and bear your setbacks with fortitude and dignity and focus on how the experience will ultimately make you a better lawyer.