Monday 21 October 2019

Mental game the key for McBride

Opportunity: Paul McBride
Opportunity: Paul McBride

Paul McBride is one of five Team Ireland Golf stars among the 15-strong Irish entry for this week's Stone Irish Challenge at Headfort.

It's a big week for the man from The Island and the rest of the Team Ireland Golf quintet who have received invitations from the Confederation of Golf in Ireland.

Like Ballymena's Dermot McElroy, Naas' Conor O'Rourke, Whitehead's John Ross Galbraith and Tullamore's Stuart Grehan he will be looking to grab a big opportunity with both hands after he missed the cut at the First Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.

It's a chance for him to improve his Challenge Tour ranking and play more events next season.

But it's also an opportunity to put into practice the mental skills he's been honing with his coach Neil Manchip, whose work in that area with Shane Lowry paid such dividends this year.

"Ninety per cent of the work we do is on the mental approach to the game," said McBride, who turns 24 next week.

"I have all the skills, but it is being able to use them correctly when I am out there and mentally trying to be as committed as possible.

"Neil is not one of those fellas that is going to get you to start doing weird stuff with your swing because he knows golf is a performance-based sport.

"It is not how your swing looks, it's how many shots you take, and the best players in the world are mentally phenomenal."

"When you look at Brooks Koepka, he looks borderline machine like - he plays so freely out there. That's what everyone strives for."

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