Who Faces More Pressure?

As Jim Furyk hook a drive into the water on 18 at the PGA Championship, the announcers made their usual comments about “major pressure.” But it made me wonder. Who really faces more pressure: A pro fighting for the lead in a tournament, or a weekend hacker coming down the 18th with a chance at breaking 90 for the first time?

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3 thoughts on “Who Faces More Pressure?”

  1. If the weekender guy only has to make a double or better to break 90, then it is the pro. 

    Seriously though- it is the pro.  Any weekender can stack up the pressure on himself to where it is tremendous, but it is not like the pressure of even playing a match play against one person, let alone a stroke play in a PGA event against 140 other guys.  My normal $6 per round bet doesn’t mean squat, but if there was 1.5m on the line, it is pressure, it is your living.  I have my job and feed my family regardless of what happens on that golf course.

    Breaking 90 wasn’t difficult, it took time and I added a lot of pressure on it, but the day I broke through, it was down to about a 86, it wasn’t even close to 90.

    80 – a different story.  I have had 3 80s, and 3-4 81s.  That first 80, I went in to 18 with 75 on the scorecard.  It isn’t a hard par 4, but the drive matters.  The green can be unfriendly, but not horrible.  I messed up the drive – and then the pressure really kicked in, and I was on in four, with about 3 feet, uphill, little break, to par.  Bogey.  Oh well.  Everyone in my foursome knew I was going to be collecting some serious skin money that day ($38 from the 25 guys in the game) + the net money.  It wasn’t until it was over that I told them that was my lowest round (by 4 strokes at that time) and I was working on beating 80.  Still a good day, and it wasn’t that much pressure.

    Other times since then, I have had pressure kick in on 16 or 17, when I have done the addition to what I can allow for 80 – but those are never the same as the pressure in a tournament.

    Hopefully, my last place in the local amateur will help relieve some stress from the tournament I am playing in at Pinehurst.  That will be for a $25,000 trip to Singapore to compete in a World event.  The format is Stableford, so every hole stands on it’s own.  THat should also help with some overall pressure.  But I am not looking forward to a caddy toting my bag and watching me all day long.  As my partner said the other day, he sure will be earning his money carrying our bags for those two days.

  2. The Pro is the standard answer. But you’d think they’d get used to—and find ways to deal with—the pressure. They’ve got shrinks, coaches, caddies and a massage waiting for them after the round. Even if they don’t win, they’ve still got those endorsements,and you can have a great career monetarily never finishing above the middle of the pack. The guy trying to break 90 (ok. 80. The 90 guy probably has broken 90 lots of times by breaking a half dozen rules of golf) has no tools to deal with that.

    Just thinking aloud.


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