Regarding this year's Masters and what happened to him when all his circuits blew and he went down in flames on Sunday, Rory McIlroy told Ryan Reiterman of golf.com, "I displayed a few weaknesses in my game that I need to work on. More mentally than anything else, just trying to handle the situation better."
Not to be picky with words, or attitudes, but if I had McIlroy's ear, I'd tell him not to think of it as 'handling a situation' when talking about playing golf.
By thinking of it that way, he is just programing himself to look at what needs to be done in a vague, abstract manner, that his subconscious won't really know what do to with.
I'm no sports psychologist, but to me, the better way of thinking, rather than telling yourself you have to "handle a situation," would be to say something like, "I need to shoot in the 60s on a course where I already have a number of times."
Shooting in the 60s on Sunday certainly would have "handled the situation" for him at Augusta.
We will see how his game works throughout the Wells Fargo Classic as he attempts to defend his title there with the lessons he took away from the 2011 Masters.
I hope the best for the lad and would certainly enjoy seeing him rise to the occasion, grab the championship for a second year running this week at Quail Hollow, and go on to do even better and bigger things in bunches.
But my optimism for such a happening is tempered by the man's own words, when after finishing third recently, he stated:
"It was nice to be able just to get back into contention, play well again and not let what happened the week before affect me in any way," he said.
It should have affected him in some way.
In any event, last year at the Wells Fargo, McIlroy shot a course-record final-round 62, which included a 30 on the back nine.
I can virtually guarantee you he wasn't thinking about "handling a situation," that day, but instead about knocking down every pin and slam dunking every putt.