• Author:Ben Jones
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Setting the goal of getting to The Open; I’ll drink to that

To achieve things in life it helps to set goals. To have ambitions. To aspire. To dream. Every day I set myself goals, even if it’s just updating my to do list with things I want to tick off that day. The satisfaction of delivering against the items on that list feels good. I like the mental nod of approval or imaginary pat on the back I give myself when the list is done and all the actions are completed.

You don’t have to be a list maker to appreciate that feeling. Think of a time you have set your eyes on a prize; a sporting win; a new job; a better car; a dream home; a book you want to read; a place you want to go. It can be anything. Anything that you want to achieve. Remember how good that felt the last time it happened to you. Remember the pride. Remember the smile it brought to you face. Remember that sense of achievement.

Today, on day four of my eight days of going to The Open at Royal Birkdale, I witnessed such a moment.

My father-in-law would have been forgiven for patting himself on the back and giving himself that mental nod of approval as he strode proudly through the gates of the 146th Open Golf Championship this lunchtime. He had ticked off his to do list. Achieved his goal. Did what he set out to do; what he put his mind to earlier this year.

When he started his seven weeks and two days of cancer treatment he steeled himself with the thought that if all goes well and he can push through to the end with his strength in tact he wanted – no, desperately wanted – to go to The Open. He wanted to make the twelve minute walk from our house to the course. When he lay down in that hospital every day for those seven and a bit weeks to be zapped by the cancer killing lasers he was told to “think of something pleasant”. Every day he thought about going to The Open.

I don’t care who wins The Open this week; our champion was crowned today. To mark the occasion, Mr O’Neill and I took ourselves to the champagne tent and raised a glass. It may not have been the claret jug but it was the biggest prize of the week for us. Mission accomplished.



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