Magee Says His Mind Matters : Golf: By concentrating on the positive results of his game, such as the 28 on Thursday’s front nine, he will play better.
In a motivational videotape that Andrew Magee borrowed from Seattle Mariner Manager Jim Lefebvre, a group of retirees are asked what they would do differently if they could live their lives over again.
“They said that they would reflect more and risk more,” Magee said Friday at Riviera Country Club, after shooting a 69 to finish at seven-under par, two strokes off the lead, after the second round of the Los Angeles Open.
“So that’s what I did last night. I sat down, had three beers and reflected. I went through each hole slowly because I probably will never shoot a 28 again in my life.’
In the first round Thursday, Magee shot a 28 on the front nine to set a course record. But while reflecting, he also practiced forgetting--forgetting about the 38 he shot on the back nine.
“I heard Johnny Miller say that the one thing he regretted in his career is that he didn’t reflect more on his great rounds, and I like that,” Magee said. “So that’s what I am trying to do.
In the off-season, Magee, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., works out in Lefebvre’s garage and often watches motivational tapes with him.
Magee’s goal, he said, is to play “unconscious golf,” accomplished by not thinking about the mechanics or technique of the swing. Friday, he struggled to become unconscious.
“When I woke up, I was already thinking about the upcoming round, so I wasn’t nearly as successful at playing unconscious today as I was yesterday,” he said. “I was nervous at first, and I hit a poor shot on the first hole. But on the third hole I hit a seven iron three feet from the hole and made the putt for birdie, and that settled me down.
Magee had five birdies and three bogeys for the day. He started on the back side at five-under par, and birdied No. 12, bogeyed No. 15, and sank a 10-foot putt on No. 16 for birdie.
On the back side, Magee birdied No. 1, saved par on the second hole and sank an eight-foot putt on No. 3 for birdie to drop to eight under par. But two more bogeys and only one birdie put him at two under for the day, 135 after the second round. He is tied with three others behind leader Bruce Lietzke.
“I made some nice par saves, but it was up and down all day,” Magee said. “I did the things I had to do to keep myself in contention. “
Magee is off to his best start in the seven seasons of his career. In the four tournaments he has entered this season, he tied for fifth at the Phoenix Open, tied for 20th at the Bob Hope Classic and tied for 57th at the Northern Telecom in Tucson, earning a total of $50,648. He missed the cut at Pebble Beach.
His only tournament victory was in 1988 at the Pensacola Open, when he came from four strokes back during the last round to win. He also had his best season in 1988, earning $261,954 to finish 43rd on the money list.
Magee, born in Paris, went to high school in Dallas. He was a three-time All American at Oklahoma. He said he gives some of the credit for his game to Bob Rotella, a sports psychologist with whom he has worked the past four years.
When Magee comes to Los Angeles, he stays at the home of his friends, Gary and Judy Hewson, who live close to Riviera. Ted Schulz, one of the others tied at 135, is at the Hewson’s, too. “Ted is also staying there, so we have to flip for the bedroom,” Magee said. “When my wife is with me, we try to get the master guest room. It’s good to stay with friends to mix it up a little.
Magee’s wife, Susan, stayed at home with their two children, 9-year old Lindsey and 26-month-old Campbell Joseph. But if Magee is in close contention in the final round, she will be on a plane to Los Angeles.
“The pressure is on her now,” Magee said.