"Lord, I don't ask that I should win, but please, please don't let me finish behind Akabusi."
Bad day at the office
Bad day at the office - professional golfer Alison Nicholas on how she copes with the ups and downs of sport
In the 2003 US Golf Open, Alison Nicholas shot 67 in the second round, followed by 83 in the third. A sixteen shot difference. How does she cope when that happens?
"The 67 was fantastic. Don't forget this was at Pumpkin Ridge where I had won the US Open in 1997. I was almost re-living 1997 with the 67. But the next day it went wrong. I didn't play very well and I just had to accept it. At such a time, the important thing is to keep it in perspective and my relationship with Jesus helps. I need to focus on him and my walk with him and not on my troubles. I believe that God wants me to be a professional golfer and that gives me an assurance that I am in the right place.
Of course I was very disappointed with the 83. But you have to move on and put your efforts into the next round. You have to learn lessons from the experience but you can't stay in the past. I don't find it easy but I have learned that moping about all evening won't do you any good. You have just got to let it go. In golf you have to accept that you will have good days and bad days. Golf is my living, but at the end of the day it is only a game and the score is only a number. It isn't life and death.
God is part of my life and he is there - whether I shoot 67 or 83. Shooting 83 is a test but it doesn't change my relationship with God. After all, I'm the one who hit the bad shots, not him!"
Alison Nicholas has won 18 professional tournaments worldwide including the British and US Opens. She played in 5 Solheim Cups and was the 2003 vice-captain. She famously told the Daily Telegraph, "Knowing Christ is the best thing that ever happened to me, although winning the US Open was a good second."