KAPALUA, Hawaii (Reuters) - Specific golfing objectives are off Hunter Mahan’s agenda for this year as the American focuses on the impending birth of his second child, along with a desire to be healthy and live in the moment.
A six-times winner on the highly competitive PGA Tour, Mahan has yet to claim his first major title but he firmly believes that setting precise goals for the game’s blue riband events – as many other players do -- would not be in his best interests.
Instead, the 32-year-old prefers to dwell on the here and now, taking each week as it comes while doing all he can to ensure he is mentally fresh to compete at his best when a tournament is on the line heading into the last nine holes.
“I‘m taking it week-by-week this year and not thinking too far ahead or too far behind, just being very much in the present and focused on what week I am playing,” Mahan told Reuters at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
“That’s the only thing I can control and the only thing I really need to worry about. I also want to take care of myself physically throughout the year,” he said.
“I want to be feeling very, very healthy and strong and get into the weekend, especially on the Sunday afternoon (for the final round), feeling really, really good.”
Mahan, who booked his place in the elite winners-only field of 34 at Kapalua this week with a two-shot victory at The Barclays in August, is specifically not setting goals for himself in this year’s four majors.
”For me, it’s just counterproductive because I know what I want to do and I know what I‘m capable of,“ the world number 22 said. ”Sometimes goals are so big that they’re more daunting than they are anything else.
“I can only have one good day at a time and the more I focus on the now and the better I do that, the better I will play and the more consistent I can be and the better energy I will have throughout the whole year.”
The most important event on Mahan’s horizon is the arrival of his second child with his wife, Kandi, expected to give birth at some point next month during the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing.
Whenever that happy day arrives, golf tournaments will be very much secondary for Mahan, who is scheduled to compete in three successive events during that period.
“It (the birth) will interrupt the West Coast swing, we don’t know how or when or anything but it will most likely interrupt it a tad,” said the native Californian.
“I‘m just going to play my schedule and make adjustments from there. It’s just a golf tournament. There’s more to be played and I will play in a lot more so I am not overly concerned about when it happens or how it happens.”
Editing by Gene Cherry