OPINION : Doubt is death.
These words were scribbled with red pencil on a white board on a driving range on which Jason Day collaborated with longtime mentor and trainer Col Swatton.
] Doubt is death.
It's why Day Steve Williams hired as a caddy, starting with the US Open on Thursday (Friday, New Zealand) at Pebble Beach.
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Doubt is something that Williams is unfamiliar with.
The biggest caddy in the history of the game – nobody else has achieved nearly 14 big titles in four decades – has secured its relentless forward momentum with its stubborn certainty and certainty its place in the game. And right now, Day needs that more than anything.
The Australian seemed to have the golfing world at his feet as he rose to No. 1 in 2015 and finished his first (and so far only) major in 2016. Since then he has lost focus and dropped to 15th in the world, has only won twice in the PGA Tour and missed the following cuts at the US Open. According to his own information, he has "fallen well below".
Day is a complex character – his relaxed demeanor conflicts with poverty-ridden parenting and the sometimes violent hands of an alcoholic father who beat him when he played badly. For a long time, he played golf for the financial security of his Filipino mother Dening and his two sisters, who sacrificed their own educational opportunities so that their brother could go to Kooralbyn's highly regarded boarding school.
It was after the death of his father that Day Swatton met who became his mentor, coach and caddy.
For a decade, there was no doubt about Day – driven by his family and debts that had to be repaid. But after he reached the height of World No. 1, he asked Swatton to step down as his caddy and keep him as a coach.
The basic principle is that Day did not want the relationship to be "poisonous". In the last two years he used two old school friends as caddies. For the first time, he had no older, smarter father figure to guide him on the way. His game suffered. Last year, his usually grooved swing left him and he alternately hit big hooks and pushed right – doubts crept in.
Williams is the antidote to doubt.
From Greg Norman to Tiger Woods to Adam Scott – Anyone who has hired Williams as a caddy will say that it's not his ability to make yards with his jump step that makes him so good – it's his ability, certainty and to build self-confidence.
Straightforward, aggressive, confident, pigheaded … The words used to describe Williams all have a similar tone. Norman described him as "stubborn, but that's what I loved about him." Steve had no gray: black was black and white was white. "
Terry Gale, another Australian who worked with Williams in the 1980s, said, "With Steve, doubts disappear … Over the years, I've had so many caddies who did not say anything because they were afraid to support themselves, or they do not know it. "
Scott, who won the Masters 2013 with Williams on the bag, repeatedly lured the kiwi out of retirement because he has "the ability to get the most out of me".
With Woods, Williams perhaps convinced the world's best golfer to play the penultimate shot Williams saw it that way in the finals of the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. Williams' conviction over selecting clubs was so strong that he ordered Woods to dismiss him if he was wrong. Woods followed Williams' vision for the shot and set up the birdie, which brought him into a playoff with Rocco Mediate, which he won the next day.
And that's exactly what Day needs – someone who eliminates doubt. Someone who tells him the truth. It is something that was already observed in practice when Day hit a hole at a hole that shot across the green into the deep rough. He played another ball on the green and was happy to putt it, but Williams let him play the first ball buried deep in the deep. This is a trick he learned from Woods, who always practiced shooting from bad lies and difficult situations.
Williams, for his part, has no illusions about what he calls his "last chapter."
When he "retired". After his relationship with Scott, no one expected him to be on tour again. But Williams always said that if the right player – one with multiple primary potential – knocked on his door, he would open it. He agreed to work with Day only if Day agreed to work harder.
"He is a no-BS type. He will tell you directly. Enough, I'm gone, "said Day." I said Steve, 'Look, my goal is to get back to # 1 in the world & # 39 ;, "If you're not working hard enough. said Day. "I want to do everything I can to get there. If I have to do what you have to tell me, I'll do it. "Swatton joining the couple for their practice session.
" I saw an enthusiastic, revived, and motivated Jason, "Swatton said," all that I hear is that he walks around with more boasting and a different appearance. "
This is the Williams effect.
* Michael Donaldson is the co-author of Steve Williams autobiography Out Of The Rough.