2008 U.S. Open (above)
Torrey Pines (South Course)
La Jolla, Calif.
12-foot birdie putt to force playoff
Rocco [Mediate] was up by one and already in the clubhouse, so it was either make this slippery birdie putt and get into a playoff the next day or go home. I never considered the latter.
I played the putt about 2½ balls outside right. The green wasn't very smooth, so I kept telling myself to focus on making a pure stroke. If it bounces in or out, I thought, so be it -- at least I can hold my head up high. I made a good, solid stroke, and the ball dove into the right side of the cup.
When faced with a must-make putt, I always resort to fundamentals, starting with my pre-putt routine. It helps me stay in rhythm and block out distractions. I'm decisive on the line, and I trust my stroke. By keeping my head and eyes still through impact, I'm assured of making solid contact and starting the ball on my chosen line -- essential elements, especially when the pressure is intense.