Mom's Favorite Son: April 4 2021
July of 2017. Jordan Spieth had just willed his way to the claret jug at Royal Birkdale. His driving was suspect. He made the most of a practice range ruling. Little did we know that would be his last great moment for a while. A long while.
My mom watched. Impatiently. Every weekend. Thursday through Sunday. Didn’t miss a day. Three and a half years. About 120 weeks of golf...with a miserable pause in 20. Somewhere around 480 days of being glued to the tv. And I mean glued to the tv. Waiting for Jordan to return. He smiled. He spoke honestly. He didn’t hide. But he wasn’t young Jordan. He was just becoming a really good guy. Not a really good champion.
My mom is not your average golf fan. In fact, she is not your average anything. Strong willed. Sharp witted. Her strong commanding voice lets you know exactly what she thinks.
She grew up during the Depression in small town Ohio. Her early years were marked by incessant dog barking. Her mom supported the family as an assistant to the local vet. He let the family live above the kennel. She knows hardship and deprivation. She knows how to go to a happy place.
She doesn’t watch the golf. She devours it like Henry the VIII ate his meals. She suffers when her favorite players miss putts. If the wrong player is too far ahead, she switches to the Hallmark channel. Seen every movie multiple times. Always a nice ending. Better than watching the wrong guy win.
Back to Jordan Spieth. He is her favorite. Bar none. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if she had to vote one person off the island. Jordan or her son? He didn’t total her car when he was seventeen. He didn’t get a C in Algebra. He always says, “yes, ma’am.” I bet he clears the table AND does the dishes. Not sure I like my chances.
Now, back to those arduous 480 days of waiting. Impatiently. Hoping against hope that her favorite player, whose smile and charming demeanor never deserted him, would get back to the old form.
It happened. Today. Eleven one putts. Valero Texas Open champion. Jordan and mom are winners again. Special day for Jordan. Even more so for mom. She was born on this day in 1931. Happy 90th birthday, mom.
Mom is now the odds-on favorite in our family Masters pool.
Luke Reese is the author of the critically acclaimed One for the Memory Banks.
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