TULSA, Okla. – Here’s an important piece of advice I heard at the U.S. Amateur that I think we all could benefit from. It comes from Jim Martin, who carried the bag as his son, Ben, advanced to the U.S. Amateur final. I know I’ve quoted Jim several times in this space over the past week, but that’s because he’s as quotable as he is affable.
After the tournament, I asked Jim to tell me the best advice he gave his son during that final day. One piece stood out. “Play with pride,” Jim said.
What really struck me was the timing of that advice, though.
Jim didn’t give Ben that directive before they teed off in the final. He said it as father and son were walking toward the green on the 13th hole of the afternoon round. Ben Martin was 6 down with six holes remaining and had just pulled his third shot on the par-5 well left of the green, all but ending the match.
Even though their run was coming to an end, Jim Martin was telling his son to hang his head high until it was officially over. And Ben Martin did; he performed admirably throughout the final, even though he wasn’t on form.