The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

July 29, 2013

Mahan has his priorities straight

Hunter Mahan did not win the Canadian Open golf tournament this weekend.

He might well have, since he held the 36-hole lead after Friday’s second round, and given the fact he has been playing well of late, posting top 10 finishes in the past two major championships.

But instead of being in the running for the RBC Canadian Open Trophy, he is instead the leader in the clubhouse in the race for father of the year.

Mahan, a former Texas high school champion who was a two-time first-team all-American at Oklahoma State, had yet to tee off in the third round of the tournament when he got the call that his wife, Kandi, had gone into labor a couple of weeks early with the couple’s first child.

Mahan could have cited the chance to win his sixth PGA Tour event, not to mention the first-prize check of just over a million dollars, and told wifey to go it alone.

But he didn’t. He withdrew from the tournament and flew back home to Texas, where he was on hand for the birth of Zoe Olivia Mahan, the couple’s first child.

Mahan is just the latest sporting dad to have to alter his plans to accommodate the birth of a baby. Last football season, Charles Tillman of the NFL’s Chicago Bears drew heat when he said he might have to miss a game if his wife, Jackie, who was due to deliver their fourth child on a Monday, went into labor early. Tillman was criticized for even considering sitting out the Bears’ game with the Houston Texans, given that he was in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career. The child, a girl, came on time and Tillman was able to play against Houston, recording six tackles.

Tillman was prepared to sit out the game in no small measure because another of the couple’s daughters, Tiana, was born with an enlarged heart and had to undergo a heart transplant.

“At the end of the day, family is all you have,” Tillman said.

Indeed.

I’m not sure how much praise Mahan actually deserves for walking away from the lead in a golf tournament to attend the birth of his child. What else would you expect him to do?

Fathers the world over, in all professions, must make a similar choice every day. It would seem an easy one to make.

There will be other golf tournaments for Hunter Mahan. At 31, he’s got a long career ahead of him.

But babies only come along once, and especially first ones.

In 1999, Phil Mickelson was in contention in the final round of the U.S. Open. He walked the course at Pinehurst No. 2 wearing a pager (remember those?) that would alert him when his wife, Amy, went into labor with the couple’s first child.

Mickelson vowed to walk off the course and fly home when the pager went off. It never did. Payne Stewart canned a 15-footer for par to beat Mickelson by a stroke. What Phil didn’t know was that Amy had begun having contractions Saturday night, and begged to be given a drug that would slow the labor process, at least long enough for Phil to finish the tournament.

It worked, and Phil was able to get home in time for the birth of Amanda Brynn.

After sinking the putt to beat him, Stewart grasped Mickelson’s face in his hands and said, “You’re going to love being a father,” putting his win, and what his young opponent was about to experience, in perfect perspective.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at jmullin@enidnews.com.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Radio-TV for 7-29-14

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge OKs sale of Clippers

    A judge ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Monday in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

    July 28, 2014

  • OU logo color.jpg Probe continues into incident involving Sooner RB Joe Mixon

    Norman Police are still investigating the alleged assault in which Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is a suspect.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bradford Bradford: Yet another make or break season

    The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • celebration picture.jpeg DBAT Gallegos headed to Connie Mack World Series

    DBAT Gallegos, who has been battling adversity all season (lost five players through injuries) took advantage of their opportunities in beating Metroplex rival Dallas Mustangs, 3-0 Sunday in the finals of the Connie South Plains Regional.
    The victory put the DBAT (34-7) into the Connie Mack World Series, which begins Friday at Farmington, N.M.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadowlake retains Enid Ryder Cup

    Jay Betchan might have a statement a week before he tries to defend his Wheat Capital championship next week.
    Betchan completed a perfect 3-0 record for Meadowlake with a 6-and-4 win over John Petersen as the Municipal Course took the Enid Ryder Cup for the fourth straight year, 131⁄2-101⁄2 overall.
    The two teams split six singles matches Sunday at Oakwood in the final day of the three-day competition.

    July 27, 2014

  • Bruce Campbell mug use me Allie Reynolds belongs in Hall of Fame

    It was with a twinge of sadness watching the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony on Sunday, knowing Oklahoma’s Allie Reynolds still is not in the Hall of Fame and there’s a good chance he won’t be in.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DezPhoto.jpeg Bryant showing maurity as leader of Dallas receivers

    Dez Bryant is going into the final season of his rookie contract with the potential of a big pay day looming. And his answers on that topic sound more like a leader than the troubled rookie who didn’t pay his jewelry bills four years ago.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Photo.jeg Hall ceremony emotion for six inductees

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.
    Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.
    Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the baseball shrine Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gordon nails restart to win Brickyard 400

     With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago.
    Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon’s Achilles heel — to pass Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne with 17 laps remaining at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.