Family matters put game into perspective

July 13, 2010 

I have the best office in the world and the best boss in the world (that's me). It's pretty amazing to get to make a living playing a game that I love. Golf has made it possible to "live the life," but sometimes life is more important.

The past month has been a tough month for me and my family. On June 15, the Tuesday of the Shoprite LPGA in Atlantic City, my grandmother passed away at the age of 84. Grandparents are very special people in our lives. They are the ones who spoil you and are so proud of you every step of the way growing up. They just cannot be replaced. So to lose my last grandparent was a very sad time. I know I'm not a columnist and english was never my forte, so I feel silly writing these columns each month, but my grandmama saved every single one of them and put it in her scrapbook ... now that's a proud grandmama. She has been and will be missed.

After pulling out of Atlantic City, I missed the cut the following week at Wegman's in Rochester, N.Y. Not really the start I wanted for the start of a five week stretch. But it has started to get better. With a new putter in the bag and a new caddie carrying it, I was able to put together my first top-10 of the year in Toledo, Ohio. A good time for it leading into the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

I had heard horror stories of Oakmont before I got there. All the girls had said it was the hardest course they have ever seen. Along with the No. 3 player in the world saying she would take 80 there each day, and Tiger saying a 10 handicap can't break 100 there, I thought it was understandable to be a little worried.

The beast of a golf course became the last of my worries Monday afternoon when I was going to pick my parents up at the airport to come join me for the week and I saw I had lots of missed calls. There was no need to get them from the airport because my dad had been rushed to the ER after having a stroke. Fortunately, he never lost his speech, so I was able to talk to him and hear him yell when I said I was skipping the U.S. Open and coming home. After knowing he was alright and being torn back and forth on what to do, I decided to stay and play because I knew that's what would make him happiest.

The golf course was definitely all it was talked up to be and was the hardest course I have ever played. But we managed it well for three of the four days and ended up tied for 19th. Not a great U.S. Open, but not a bad comeback after a struggle on the second day.

As for dad, he is back home with our puppies and doing therapy to get better. I don't say it's a tough month for anyone to feel sorry for us, I say it because it really puts things into perspective. It makes me realize what is really important in life. Yes, I get to play this crazy game that we all love for a living, but that's all it is, just a game. And as lucky as I am to get to play it, I know I'm even luckier to have the people I have in my life who love to watch me play and that I can make proud doing it.

KRISTY MCPHERSON is a Conway native and LPGA Tour member. She writes a column each Tuesday of the month for The Sun News.

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