Thursday, June 25, 2009
The above word is an interesting thing. Some people never get it, but once you have it, you can lose it at any moment. The thing is, people with confidence seem to ride momentum for longer stretches than people that question themselves.
Guys like Tiger Woods just ooze confdience. It's ingrained in their skulls and they don't know how to play without it. You hear Tiger talk after rounds and he says things like, "I hit the ball really well today..." even if he shot 74. He is confident in himself. He is confident in his game. He knows his next great week is just around the corner.
Confidence can come from random places. Jason Gore gained it from three solid rounds at the U.S. Open in 2005, only to shoot an 84 the last round and fall completely out of contention. It didn't matter for Gore, who went on to win twice on the Nationwide Tour to gain a battlefield exemption into the PGA Tour and win later that year at the 84 Lumber Classic.
Now, it looks like Ricky Barnes might be surfing that wave. After a second place finish last week on Long Island, Barnes shot a 5-under 65, his best opening round of the year by two shots, and is looking more like the guy that won the U.S. Amateur and less like the guy that carded his first top-10 on the PGA Tour just a week ago.
It is funny what one week will do with your golf game. Phil Mickelson broke through at the 2004 Masters, going on to finish in the top-10 seven of his next nine majors and two wins. Tiger Woods won four straight. If Barnes can continue the confidence, he might just be looking at a win in the near future and the stress of keeping his card will dissipate as quick as his confidence was gained.