Pressure Is Real and Necessary

By Tyler Tompson – 


It’s April 14, 1996… The Masters. Easily one of the most widely viewed and prestigious sporting events in the world, and it is going to be one that will weigh on Greg Norman for a long, long time.


Greg Norman is a professional golfer who is heading into day four of the Masters with a 6-stroke lead over Nick Faldo. At this point in Masters history, no one has ever lost a 6-stroke lead in the event. Norman was, however, known for blowing the lead – in the prior seven major golf events he led in, he ended up losing and came up short in all of them. A fan even told Greg there was no way he would blow the lead the night before!


No way history would repeat itself, right? This was surely his time! Not quite…


Norman had a bogey on the 3rd hole, and several bad shots followed. He had two balls rim around the hole and come out. Norman began to take more time during his shots and putts, standing over the ball and moving around in ways that Faldo and his coach, David Ledbetter, had never seen before.


On the 15th hole, Norman missed an eagle… barely. From there, Faldo took a 4-stroke lead and would go on to win the 1996 Masters.


Looking back at Norman’s personal history at the Masters, this was his eighth 2nd place or 3rd place finish in the tournament. Just an incredible statistic.


I have no doubt that playing in your first Masters tournament would be filled with incredible amounts of pressure. Falling just short and finishing 2nd or 3rd one or two times would be filled with a little more pressure, and even more pressure still as you inch closer and closer to that green jacket. But falling short eight times… the stress gets greater and greater.


Pressure is very real, and the best of the best react to it. Some cave and fall, while others embrace it and rise to the occasion. Learn to embrace the pressure; feed off of it. If you want to be great and accomplish great things, pressure is a necessary part of that path.


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