I look at the younger lot and say my God ‘you need to slow down if you want to last’
Abu Dhabi: The sun is beating down hard at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course and with a heavily strapped left ankle, the legend of women’s golf Laura Davies drags herself around in round three of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open. All you can do is watch in awe and envy her longevity in the sport with one question in mind. What keeps this 54-year-old legend going?
“The No. 1 thing is I’m not scared to fail as I have been a champion for many years,” said Davies, the four — time major champion and 12 — time Solheim Cup player, with 45 wins on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and 20 wins on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.
“It doesn’t worry me if I don’t win. I don’t think like if I’m not winning I should stop playing. I still think I have plenty to offer and I think at any level you cannot be scared of failure. Yes, believe and go for it and don’t die wondering,”
Davies, who has life membership on Tour, is clearly not here to make numbers. Given the fact that she is injured, her effort of 69 for the round is impressive indeed.“My Achilles is very sore and considering that three-under is good,” said Davies, adding that she is making the birdies and if there would have been not that much chaos, she would have definitely finished higher.
“I missed a couple of three putts which was annoying. I got heat stroke on the first day and I have not been well all week, but pretty pleased.”She also agreed that at this age there are times when she feels she shouldn’t be touching her club at all. But such thoughts don’t last for long.“
Halfway through yesterday when I was not feeling well, I thought ‘What am I doing out here?’ On the whole because I play pretty well all the time, it is not fantastic or else I will be winning tournaments. Yes, I don’t think I play that way to feel I’m making a fool of myself,” she said, adding the competition is what she enjoys the most and having a lot of friends on tour keeps her going.
“Ten years ago, when I have was not playing good gold, I even thought of quitting a couple of times. You think why am I bothering but then you hit a couple of good shots and you put that at the back of your mind. The biggest thing is there is nothing else I want to do.
“My family still enjoys watching my scoreboard tick over during the week. They don’t miss it from a distance. They used to travel quite a lot earlier. They don’t think I’m mad and they think I’m a good player. In the back of their mind, they believe I can win. My brother definitely does.”
Davies reveals she can’t practise the way she used to do when she was younger. However, she asserts if you want to last for long then you have to be careful with one’s body which the youngsters don’t understand.“I can’t do all what today’s young girls do, but when I see them on the range, I just look at them and say ‘My God, you need to slow down if you want to last’. I’m still going on at 54 and if they want to go on for that long then they have to slow down.”
The Briton was of the view that golf has come a long way from where she started and the main difference is the confidence of the younger lot.“When I had started it was all about older players and the young lot were scared,” she said. “The youngsters today are ready to go and win. It is just incredible. Their precision is great, most top players don’t hit it a long way. They putt well and are very accurate. And they think that I’m a dinosaur.”
Come next year, Davies breaks new ground when she will become the first female golfer to compete in an event on the men’s European Senior Tour when she tees up at the Shipco Masters next year in Denmark.
“It will be very interesting and I really look forward to that,” she said. “Of course, again I will not be there to prove anything. It will fun to be there and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Davies also commented on how she has a lot of things still left on her to-do list despite achieving so much in golf already. She said she would love to start her own golf course with its own driving range. Davies enjoys the thought of planning her own course, looking into Ace Driving Range Netting installation and finding the best place for it. We’ll have to see what the future holds her Davies there!
Given an opportunity to go back in time, Davies said she would have wanted to be a 23-year-old again at the US Open.
“I would like to go back to that 18th hole standing there winning the US Open playing New Jersey,” she said. “That has to be my favourite point where I want to be.”
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