Mr. Anton

March 11, 2010
By Anonymous

As I got off the plane, all I could think was, I just want this tournament to be over with so I can go back to bed. Playing golf is hard enough, but playing in one of my most important tournaments with the Swine Flu was going to be beyond difficult. It was going to be impossible.

I remember getting to play a practice round before the tournament, thinking, I just want this tournament to be over with so I can go back to bed…until I sat down at the table for breakfast. As I sat eating my food, Jordan Niebrugge’s swing coach asked me where I wanted to go play golf in college. Without thinking, I just said, “I don’t know.”

As I looked up at Mr. Anton, not even a second passed before he said, “Son, if you don’t know what you want, how can you go after something?! You can’t not try something just because you’re afraid. For every situation in life you need to ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen and can I handle this? If you can, then there is nothing to be afraid of.”

As I finished my breakfast, Mr. Anton’s words began to soak in. I found the courage to say what I had been thinking for weeks. “I want to play golf at Wisconsin.”

“If that’s where you really want to play, you need to say something. If you tell Jim Schuman you really want to play at Wisconsin the worst thing that can happen is he tells you something you already know: no,” preached Mr. Anton.

Although I didn’t play all that well in the actual tournament, I left Florida with a life lesson I will never forget. I learned I should always ask myself what the worst possible outcome is and if I can handle it. If I can, then there is nothing to be afraid of.

Although I had known Tom Anton long before I stayed with him in Florida, this will always stand out as the single most important life lesson he or anyone else has ever taught me.

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