Why Is Bruce Fleisher Winning?

Bruce Fleisher's 17-under 199 was a tournament record at the 1999 Silverado Country Club's Transamerica Seniors Championship. Fleisher won his sixth Senior PGA Tournament of the year and raised his winnings for the year to $2,114,630 with the first prize of $165,000.

In contrast, Fleisher played in 408 PGA Tour events between 1972 and 1998, winning one tournament in 1972. He earned just over $1.6 million, never more than $250,00 in any one year. Besides being on the Senior Tour, what has made the difference?

Bruce's past leads me to believe it is all in his mental attitude. He was the U.S. Amateur winner in 1968, at age 19. Sports Illustrated gave him pages, not just paragraphs. He was called the next Jack Nicklaus. But in 1970, he failed in his first attempt at the PGA Tour qualifying school, losing in a five-way playoff.

Fleisher recently recalled, "There was no Nike Tour then. You were a man at home. Having to sit that year hurt me mentally. I lost a lot of confidence. You get beat up a lot in this game. I think the toughest thing any professional athlete has to deal with is his self-image. Everyone's an armchair backseat driver. I would finish in the top 10, and instead of people saying, 'Good tournament,' they'd say, 'If it hadn't been for Saturday,' or, 'If you hadn't 3-putted 15'."

"I just think I got better with age," Fleisher said. "At least this moment in time. Maybe I wasn't ready to handle it before. That other tour is work. This is more fun."

What separates winners from losers is located between their ears. Winners think and act differently from the losers. Bruce Fleisher is the same talented golfer he has always been. The only difference is his mental attitude has gone from lack of confidence to having more fun. It is important for all of us to learn how to control our emotions because they affect your brain's chemistry and performance. Bruce has proven this without a doubt.

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