Yeah, that's me, third from the right. The photo is taken in Frankfurt, Germany, at the European Team Championship. I look more like a wannabe flight attendant than an aspiring professional golfer. This particular week, I happened to face Suzann Pettersen in the singles. It was match play, and I was up until the last two holes. On the 17th hole, she hit the par 5 green in two shots and made birdie. Then on the 18th, she made a snake of a putt to force us into a tie breaker. We went back to the first tee, where I got up and down and clinched the match. It was redemption for losing that push-up contest we had in the hotel parking lot earlier in the week. At least that's how I saw it.
At this point in my life, I wanted to be the best. The following year, I went to a college tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee with my golf resume typed up, and ready to hand to any receptive coaches. I figured college golf was my opportunity to get better, and play with the best collegiate golfers in the world.
I arrived at San Jose State University almost 19 years ago. I was 19 years old. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had a lovely British accent, and no clue what a college essay meant. That first semester was a blur. I had to take remedial English and remedial math. Jet-lagged and wide-eyed, I thought the placement test wasn't all that important. It started out rough, but four years later, I had received Academic All-American honors three times.
Recently, I was reading a book about habits. One of the sections in the book talked about whether a person is a "starter" or a "finisher". To my surprise, I am a finisher. I have a hard time starting. However, I really enjoy finishing things. Even a tube of tooth paste. Weird huh? I thought so too. All I can say is that I wouldn't have had all the wonderful golf experiences I have had if it wasn't for starting before I was ready. And I have had to do that many uncomfortable times.
But knowing what is my natural tendency, it makes it easier for me to start.
Because once I start, I know I finish.