MHAIRI MCKAY: Not only is the U.S. Women's Open week the most grueling event on the players' schedule, but it is also the most challenging for the kids, too. Angus' first trip to the Open was a busy week for the McKay/Smith family, but it was fabulous to share the biggest event in the ladies golfing calendar together. My husband, Dave, took time off his regular "rocket science" job to caddie for me around Oakmont. In addition to being a great help on the course (sometimes it felt like rocket science was the only way to negotiate Oakmont!), jointly looking after Angus before and after rounds kept us all as refreshed as possible.
Angus was a real trooper all week. Dave and I had long practice days plotting our strategy for the tournament, which meant early starts and long days for Angus in daycare. We are so thankful to Bardine and Katie for the wonderful care they give all the children of the LPGA mums. Even for those 5 a.m. drop-offs last week, we were greeted with smiles and open arms. Our minds were at ease leaving Angus and we were ready to focus on the beast of Oakmont! Day one we were in the opening pairing at 7 a.m., and then day two we were playing in the afternoon and caught in the weather delay. Fortunately, we could spend more time with Angus Friday, but it meant that Saturday was incredibly long for the whole family. Play resumed at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, which meant another early drop-off at daycare, and after making the cut and playing another 18 holes Saturday afternoon, we went straight from the last green to daycare at 8 p.m. We had been on the go for 15 hours at that point. Sunday's start was a more civilized, 8 a.m. drop-off for Angus and a 10:20 a.m. tee off for mum.
Dave and I are in agreement that our most endearing and enduring memory of Oakmont isn't those devilish greens; it was finishing Sunday's round on the ninth green (due to the weather delays we had a split tee start) looking up at the clubhouse and seeing Angus waving to us after holing my final putt. Daycare was located in the ladies locker room overlooking the ninth green - perhaps the best seat in the house for viewing the course. Our hearts melted with his little wave and we couldn't wait to get our hands on him after such a long, exhausting week. Now back home in Los Alamos, NM, this is Angus week!
Congratulations, Paula, for a wonderful win.