Ray Floyd: The Intimidator

Ray Floyd, 66, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Ben Baker/Redux Pictures

“When I was a kid, I played for pennies, nickels, quarters. I always played better when there was something on the line — when it meant something.
When I was in competing mode, it didn’t matter if it was 25 cents or $25,000. My mindset was, I will not lose. The higher the stakes, the higher my interest. At the ’86 U.S. Open at Shinnecock, I had The Stare — that intense focus. I can’t induce it. It’s there or it’s not. I’m a jovial guy, but when I had that look people were afraid of me [Laughs]. I remember walking off the 10th green, and I looked at my wife,
but I didn’t see her, I was so focused. That day, it felt like I was playing in slow motion. I could see the future.
I knew what my shots would do
before I hit them. It was like someone else was playing, and I was watching him. The intensity is a double-edged sword. I’ve choked. When I couldn’t win [an event], I could lose interest. But when I was in the hunt, and I
had The Stare, I never lost once.”

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