More than 12 million people watched Spanish golfer Jon Rahm win The Masters golf tournament this week.
Regardless of whether you were one of those 12 million or you’re not sure the difference between a birdie & bogey, we can take some clues on how to win in our lives.
Rahm won the tournament by four shots over 2nd place. Let’s talK about some reasons why he won, why it was fairly remarkable and how we can all apply the lessons to us.
The weather was unfair
One of the biggest storylines in the tournament was the weather. In the middle of the 2nd round (there are 4 rounds of the tournament), a weather front came in. Temperatures dropped and it rained. Hard.
Half of the players finished the 2nd round prior to the weather front moving in. Half the players had to finish the 2nd round playing in temperatures in the 40’s, wind 15-20 mph and constant rain.
Rahm played just about as many holes in this condition as anyone else. This put him at a distinct disadvantage. Many of the players with the best scores finished before the inclement weather. He persevered anyway.
He said that he was looking to have fun during those miserable conditions. While other golfers saw their chances to win (or even advance beyond the 2nd round) dwindle, Rahm played well enough to maintain second place.
It was his ability to connect with a value of his – fun – that I believe gave him the edge. It was a challenge, no doubt. When we can connect with our values, it helps us get through the toughest conditions.
Golf has tons of fairly obscure stats to provide reasons someone wins or not.
One of those stats is called “scramble percentage.” It means this: the percent you make a good score on a hole when you do not hit the ball on the green when you should. Said in golf terminology: how often you make a par or better when you don’t hit the green in regulation.
Rahm had the best scramble percent of any player in the tournament. He made a good score 80% of the time that his ball didn’t go where he wanted.
It was his ability to bounce back from a momentary failure, to have a positive outcome. The golf course was difficult. Some of the weather conditions made it worse. And, his ability to focus when he puts himself in a difficult position to hit a good shot lead him to win.
Setbacks & momentary failures are going to happen. How you approach the next steps following those setbacks is key to you winning.
It’s bigger than you
Jon Rahm is the 4th player from Spain to ever win The Masters.
It meant a lot to him to follow in his mentors’ and heroes’ footsteps. In fact, the final day of the tournament was the birthday of the first Spanish golfer to win the masters Seve Ballesteros.
For Rahm, the win was even bigger than that. He got into golf from his Dad after they both watched a golf tournament in which European players did well in. That was the inspiration for both of them to get into golf. Clearly Rahm was great, loved the game and progressed to now the #1 player in the world.
He still connects with the kid he was watching the tournament with his Dad. He believes that his win and winning will help elevate the game in his country and spark a new generation of young golfers.
When we connect what we’re doing with something much bigger than just ourselves, it means more. We can face adversity more. We can show greater resilience. We have the mental & emotional bandwidth for greater success.
Living your values in difficulty, staying grounded during momentary failures, connecting to something larger than you – will help you win The Masters. More importantly for us, these lessons will help us win the championships we compete for everyday.
As they say in golf, “swing away.”