A Gentle-Mahan of the Game

It may have been a dark, gloomy morning in Ontario, Canada during the PGA Tour’s HBC Canadian Open Saturday, but it was a delightful, joyous day overall for Hunter Mahan. A week removed from earning his second consecutive top-10 in a major, Mahan held the 36-hole lead at 13-under par, seeking his sixth PGA Tour victory before things took quite an unusual turn...Thanks to an 80-minute weather delay, Hunter Mahan was able to receive a phone call and withdraw from the tournament prior to his tee time. At 3:26 a.m. Sunday morning, Hunter’s wife, Kandi, gave birth to Zoe Olivia Mahan. Kandi went into labor more than a month prior to her due date.

After Mahan withdrew, Brandt Snedeker went on to win the tournament at 16-under par. “Sneds” has also been involved in a similar situation when he withdrew from the 2011 Honda Classic to attend the birth of his first child after holding the 18-hole lead.

Withdrawing from a PGA Tour tournament in which the winner’s share equates to more than $1 million was a noble action that perhaps not everyone would have gone through with in if placed in the same situation. Who knows? Would Hunter have gone done the same thing if he had received that phone call prior to his Sunday play in the final “game” of the game’s oldest championship? One thing is for sure: he made the right call given the situation. He’s won on Tour and I can guarantee you he will win another million-dollar purse in the future. Not to mention, I think he can support himself and his family financially.

Ultimately, we—as athletes—have to sit back and understand the sports and activities that we involve ourselves in are often our passion and, for some of us, a way of life. You may play this wonderful game of golf for fun or you may play it for sheer competition, but either way, we should take something away from the game’s best; at the end of the day, it’s just a game. Hunter Mahan reassured that to the golfing and sporting world on Saturday and for that, he deserves the utmost respect and we should all take something away from his wise actions.