22 year old Rory McIlory was one of the biggest news makers in professional golf in 2011. This young and phenomenally talented golfer captured the imagination of the golf world as he surged to the lead in last April at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Unfortunately, the pressure was too intense and he blew a 4 shot lead with a final round 80.
The key is how you react
Many observers worried that this crushing failure would scar his psyche and as it had so many other golfers in the past. This was a devastating loss and a huge disappointment. The way Rory responded proved again that it’s not what happens to you it’s how you respond to what happens to you. McIlory told Brian Keogh of IrishGolfDesk.com “the Masters was huge for me, it was a huge disappointment at the time but reflecting upon it… it was probably the most important day of my career so far.” In fact, if I look back on my career in 20 years that day in Augusta was probably the defining moment in my career. It was definitely the point where I reached the crossroads in my career where I could keep going the wrong way or really take responsibility for myself and say ‘right, this is what I’ve got to do to get better and win, and improve as a player.’”
He re-evaluated everything about his game. He worked hard to improve weak areas. He made a lot of adjustments in his entourage, his support team and even changed his agent. He took responsibility for all areas himself and positioned himself to win.
Take responsibility and good things can happen
A few short months later, the young golfer had a completely different result in a major championship. He electrified the golf world with a decisive victory at the US Open – which many say is the most challenging golf tournament of all. Because he had taken responsibility for his previous collapse he was able to stay strong and handle the pressure when it came time to win again. By winning he sent a loud message to us all that if you respond the right way to devastating failures in your life it can open the door to even more staggering successes.