Zach Johnson has just won the Open Championship at St. Andrew’s. Despite the odds against him, he completed the four rounds tied with two other players. In a 4-hole play-off, he ended up golfballbeating them and is now a two time Grand Slam champion.
But, Zach was not the favorite player coming in to lift the claret jug. His driving distance was ranked 60th out of 156 players. Players like Dustin Johnson or Jason Day outdrive Zach by more than 30 yards. However, at the end of the tournament, it was the shorter driver who lifted up the trophy.
Much has been talked about Zach’s mental approach to the game of golf. Today, he demonstrated that his psychological strength was the one that out-drove everybody else’s. In his 15 years as a golf professional, he maintained a remarkable work ethic and a strong belief about his own strengths. He knew he could not outdrive the likes of Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, but he knew that if he persisted and maintained a strong tenacity and a positive attitude, he could one day win a tournament. He put 100% focus on what he needed to be great at in order to be competitive with other golfers. He is one of the most accurate drives on Tour, which gives him better the chances to shot at the pins from the fairway. His short game has become super reliable, which helps him to compensate for his shorter game, especially in par 5s. His putting is phenomenal. It is ranked as one of the most efficient putter on Tour. In short, he worked to improve his strengths rather than worrying about the competitors’ strengths.
His professional attitude and tenacity are worthwhile admiring. He has excelled beyond his own dreams. However, he has shown us to be a wonderful example of what an athlete is capable of achieving when they remain true to themselves and work hard to develop an inner constitution. Eventually it will pay-off at the end.