What You Can Learn from Tiger and Dustin at the 2020 Masters


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I think we can all agree that Tiger and Dustin are very different people. One is intense, dramatic, has flashes of strong emotions with lots of drama surrounding almost every shot. And the other is... Dustin Johnson.


But while both players couldn't have more different personalities, they have a very important trait that they share: a world-class ability to move on from the past and fully focus on the present.


Tiger showed that trait perfectly on Sunday of the 2020 Masters. After making 10 on the innocently beautiful par-3 12th, he let it roll off his back and then birdied 5 of his last 6 holes to finish in the top-20.


It goes without saying that Dustin also showed this trait at the 2020 Masters. Just a few months removed from shooting a pair of 80s in a tournament, and a few weeks since testing positive for COVID and being quarantined, he set the Masters scoring record and won by 5 shots.


We've all seen how Dustin doesn't let anything bother him. It almost seems like he doesn't even care what happens. But if you look closer, you can tell he cares. He intently gathers information before every shot in order to hit it to the best of his ability.


And in fact, I believe that being able to move on shows that you care even more! The misconception is that care = dwelling. Or to put it differently, the way to show that you really badly want to play well is to live and die by every shot, and really invest yourself emotionally into every single result. But I think it's actually the opposite. If you really and truly cared about how well you played, then once that last shot was over, you would already be moving on to the next one that mattered more.


So what can you learn from this? That there is only one thing you should focus on at one time: the present. Tiger let the past go after making a 10. Dustin lets the past go pretty much all the time. You just have to decide what the most important thing is for you to be doing right now. And rarely that answer is dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Almost always the most important thing is focusing on the present.

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