Generally I like Cameron Morfit and the stuff he writes for Golf Magazine and I’ve linked to a couple of his columns.
But in this column, “The Unraveling of Jim Furyk: Lessons learned from a season marked by failure,” he starts with the premise inherent in the title of his interview and won’t take “no” for an answer.
For his part, Furyk does his best to rationally look back at 2012 and label it a pretty good year: he’s a glass-half-full kind of guy. In his mind, he managed to get flummoxed by the USGA’s setup of the 16th hole at the Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. They moved the tee way up and, rife with indecision, he snapped his drive deep into the treeline. He also missed a five-foot bogey putt at the WGC-Bridgestone at Firestone in Akron to lose that tournament. But they were just two shots in an otherwise good campaign that netted him more than $3.6 million.
After explaining his point of view to Morfit, Morfit continued to press about the tragedy of it all and Furyk finally offered “I’m going to have to stick a knife in my heart at the end of this. This is the most depressing interview I’ve ever given for this amount of time.”
Morfit is engaged in a ubiquitous point of view that “failure is embarrassing” and we don’t ever want to have public failures because of the humiliation.
A healthier mindset is that you are only embarrassed if you choose to be embarrassed. (And, my words, not Furyk’s, you are only embarrassed if you are disconnected from your essence; knowing who you are at your very core makes mistakes trivial.) And as a long-lived professional golfer who has suffered his share of “indignities” at the hands of golf, Furyk knows that. And he does his best in the interview to explain that to Morfit.
But to the very end, Morfit doesn’t quite seem to understand.