Thursday 14 December 2017

Simple mind guru drums up Hoey's confidence

Michael Hoey has been working on his confidence Photo: Getty Images
Michael Hoey has been working on his confidence Photo: Getty Images

Karl MacGinty in Qatar

MICHAEL HOEY needed to feel more upbeat - so he went to Andy Duncan, who used play drums with Simple Minds. Hoey (30) is blessed with a glorious golf game but has been held back by a chronic lack of confidence.

Which led him to former musician Duncan, now a big noise among golf's mind-gurus. Hoey's career has its milestones. He won the British Amateur in 2001; shared Walker Cup victory over the US with Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald and Nick Dougherty at Sea Island later that year and was successful three times on the Challenge Tour.

Yet even when he clinched his maiden European Tour win at last April's Portuguese Open, it took months for Hoey to believe he'd become a member of Europe's league of champions. "I just didn't see myself as a winner on Tour," Hoey explained.

Pedestals

"Growing up, you see guys winning tournaments on TV and you put them on pedestals. Obviously they were great players.

"I'd been struggling for a while, so I asked myself, 'have I just won a tournament here? This is weird'."

The penny only dropped in mid-summer when Hoey saw video re-runs from Estoril. "There I was, holing a couple of putts. I watched it a few times and thought, 'Jeez that was quite good actually'.

"I've never given myself enough credit. It's a bad habit. You think it's macho being hard on yourself but that's just rubbish. I decided to work with someone who'd help me treat myself a bit better. Gary Murphy recommended Andy Duncan, so I went to him last month and I'm delighted I did.

"Andy says everything in life is about familiarity. Guys like Rory McIlroy have been positive all their life so they find it easy. Yet it's just as easy to be negative if that's what you've always done. I'm trying to turn it the opposite way and be positive."

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