A Lesson Learned: Be Bold and Lay Up

A Lesson Learned: Be Bold and Lay Up Getty Images With a wealth of experience at Riviera Country Club, John Merrick didn’t hesitate to lay up on the drivable 10th, a shot that proved to be the difference in Merrick’s playoff win at the Northern Trust Open. Series: Lesson Learned The hardest shot in golf down the stretch in a tournament isn’t the long bunker shot or the towering drive; it isn’t the curling downhill putt or the finesse chip. No. The hardest shot to make yourself hit under pressure is the layup, the iron shot to the fat part of the fairway when the green is tempting you like a mistress. You know that you are one perfectly struck shot away from glory; you know that the crowd wants to see you pull out the driver and go for it; you know that if you pull off the big shot, it will make all the television highlights. You can’t imagine the pressure that comes with trying to win for the first time. It doesn’t matter if it’s your club championship, a member-guest or the Northern Trust Open, the biggest obstacle to winning is always your own emotions. That is what makes the par John Merrick made on the short par-four 10th at Riviera to win the playoff over Charlie Beljan such a teachable moment. Merrick could have hit driver there. The hole is only 315 yards long. He could have threaded a tee shot onto the front portion of the green and had a two-putt birdie and a chance at eagle. But Merrick grew up in Long Beach and had been coming to the L.A. Open since he was a boy. He had also played many rounds at Riviera during his days at nearby UCLA.
[Link] http://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/lesson-learned/off-tee/lesson-learned-be-bold-and-lay

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