How basketball and baseball helped Gary Woodland Master Golf

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"I came back, scored 20," Woodland said proudly

On Sunday, Woodland informed a charging Brooks Koepka who closed it with a three-under 68. Koepka, & # 39; the world's top player, couldn't intimidate Woodland, who placed a 69 to defeat Koepka, the world number 1, with three hits.

Woodland also learned breathing techniques in basketball that he transferred to the golf course. Before making free throws, he took several deep, soothing breaths and counted up to three in his head to block the noise of the crowd. He does the same between golf shots. He takes a deep breath and, especially on putts, counts to three in his head before he starts his battle.

Woodland said on Sunday that these techniques kept him "in the moment."

He added: "I think from a mental point of view I was as good as I have ever been. I never let myself lead the way, I never thought what would happen if I won."

Standing on the board or on the free-throw line with the game on the line, Woodland learned how to succumb to pressure and discomfort instead of. So when Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Koepka, who together have seven major titles, approached him in turns on Sunday, Woodland did not panic. He said to himself: "Enjoy the stress. Enjoy feeling uncomfortable."

Team sports also made Woodland coachable. When his instructor, Pete Cowen, suggested a few adjustments to his chipping stroke at the start of the week, Woodland did not question it. He did what he was told and his execution around the greens during the week was almost perfect.

"He sent me an incredible text this morning that had nothing to do with my golf swing or technique," said Woodland. , referring to Cowen. "He said: & # 39; Every man dies, but not every person lives and you live for the moment. & # 39; I have thought a lot about that today."

And finally he achieved his first big win in 30 attempts. Woodland does not expect to wait that long until the next one. Using the third person plural reflects the team effort that is a sport, Woodland said, "I think we're trending in the right direction."

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