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Arnold Palmer: ‘I lost my edge’

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Golf legend Arnold Palmer recalled half a dozen close rounds and playoffs in the 1960s and 1970s he could have won if he’d kept the killer instinct that won him the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills in 1960.

“Winning that first U.S. Open was an obsession,” he said. “The first thing you want to do is win an Open. Then, after you win it, you have to stay aggressive, stay the way you were when you won it. And it’s difficult to do.”

In later years, he said, “if I had had the same psychological approach I did at Cherry Hills, I could have won all those years.

“It’s so fine,” Palmer went on. “You have to get in there, and you have to stay in there, and once you get out, it’s very hard to get back in. It’s happened to every golfer. Hogan. Nicklaus. Every golfer. It’s just a question of when.”

Did Palmer have that same obsessive need to practice and improve and win in ’65 and ’75 that he did in ’55, when he won his first Tour event in his rookie year? With all that endorsement money rolling in and his plane idling on the tarmac and the whole world beckoning for him? Not very likely.

Every golfer will someday lose the edge. It’s just a question of when.

— Adapted from “Arnie Unfiltered,” Michael Bamberger, Sports Illustrated.

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