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Fans like Hunter Mahan leaving golf tourney for birth of first child

August 06, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Golfer Hunter Mahan passed up a chance at winning a tournament to be there when his first child was born.
Golfer Hunter Mahan passed up a chance at winning a tournament to be there… (Scott Halleran / Getty Images )

For a guy who hasn't won a tournament all season, Hunter Mahan is receiving a lot of love at the PGA Championship this week.

Mahan earned some new fans at the recent Canadian Open when, leading after 36 holes, he abruptly returned home for the birth of his first child.

"I think you saw my agent, Chris Armstrong, come on the range," he recalled. "I had lunch with him, and then I went downstairs, and my wife called him a couple times after that, and we got confirmation that her water broke, which was great news, because it wasn't like she was having contractions."

Mahan hurried off the practice range and made some calls to obtain a private jet. That got him to Dallas in plenty of time to be with his wife, Kandi, when she gave birth to daughter Zoe.

"It was a wild day," Mahan said. "But you know, I wouldn't change it for the world, so it was great, a great experience."

Still, the 31-year-old golfer was a little apprehensive about seeing fans at Oak Hill Country Club this week, wondering about the reaction to his passing up a chance at the Canadian.

"I haven't met anyone who has said I made the wrong decision," he said. "I went on Twitter ... to see what the response would be, because usually Twitter, they tell me how much I suck all the time and how dumb I am. So I figured somebody would say, 'You're an idiot, you didn't know what you're doing, you can't throw away [the lead].'

"But I didn't see that," he said. "Maybe I didn't look far enough down."

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