As Significant rounds Proceed, I'd put the final day of This 2014 Tour Championship up for me. I went to bed Saturday night tied to the lead with Rory McIlroy. What was at stake was hard not to think about. There was a $10-million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup, in addition to the $1.4-million-plus for the tournament. Those are serious numbers; and it did not make sleeping any simpler.
Here is the very first thing I do if I have a big round coming up: Embrace it. No matter how nervous you're, you are not feeling anything a million players haven't felt before you. If you shrink away from the challenge, it will not be any easier the next time. But should you welcome it, another one will be easier. Every day that week on the drive to East Lake, the same song came on the radio:"Flaws" from Bastille. It has an awesome, lively beat. Some weeks I like a slower tune, or something that inspires me. The country tune"Drinking Class" by Lee Brice does that. But that week it was all"Flaws." Two minutes from the course, the song still had not come on, and I nearly panicked. Then they played it. It was amazing. This was a fantastic sign.
When I got to the Program, I went immediately to the fitness Trailer and spent 30 minutes getting my body ready to swing a golf club. If you don't have a fitness center to work with or a great deal of time prior to your round, you should at least loosen up your lower back. Sit down, cross 1 leg over the opposite, and turn gently in the opposite way. Then switch legs, and flip another way. Avoid moving straight to the practice range. You wish to warm up prior to your warm-up.
My real pre-round prep is odd. At East Lake, I went to the Putting green and spent 15 minutes making sure I was starting the ball on line. From there, I moved to the short-game area and practiced chips and pitches for 10 minutes. Then I headed to the range to strike largely wedges, half and complete spaces, for 20 minutes. I use a range finder to learn just how far I'm hitting them, because my distance can change by as much as 10 yards, which is enormous. I really don't hit many drivers before a round. Seven to 10 did the trick in East Lake, but occasionally it is as few as three. I was hitting my driver nicely, so I didn't wish to get fixated on it.
I spent the last 10 minutes back in the practice putting green, This time focusing on speed over line. I went out and shot 68 and won the Tour Championship by three shots. Big rounds don't get much sweeter than that.