NAPLES, Fla. — While this week at the Grant Thornton Invitational is special for everyone in the 32-player field, it’s even more so for LPGA Tour winner Mel Reid as it’s the first time she has gotten to tee it up in a professional golf event as a mother.
Reid and her wife Carly announced that they were expecting their first child on May 2 of this year, and the pair welcomed Kai William Reid just over a month ago on November 8. Carly and Kai along with many of Carly’s family members are in the gallery this week at Tiburón Golf Club watching Reid compete alongside four-time PGA Tour winner Russell Henley, and even though the 1-month-old won’t remember seeing Mel play for the first time, it’s a memory that his mothers will cherish for a lifetime.
“It's tiring as hell. Not gonna lie,” laughed Reid. “The little fella, he sleeps pretty good, but it's still obviously quite tiring. This isn't a normal LPGA event, but you don't wanna embarrass yourself, so I've been trying to prep a little bit, and it's been pretty demanding with him as well. So, certainly an adjustment but it's awesome. He's not gonna remember it but me and Carly will, and she's got all her family here as well so it's a pretty special week.”
No matter the circumstances, it’s challenging to adjust to life with a newborn, let alone trying to play a professional sport while you’re at it. While Kai sleeps around five hours at a time in the evenings, Reid admits that she’s a bit more tired than she’s used to being week in and week out on the LPGA Tour. But she wouldn’t trade the experience she’s had over the last month of being a parent for anything, enjoying every second she’s had with both her wife and her son throughout the entire process.
“I've got a bit more responsibility now. I can't just be who I used to be. But, honestly, it's awesome. I wouldn't change it for the world,” said the 2020 ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer champion. “It's funny when you first hold your child, it's an unreal moment. Carly is doing great as well. She just took to it very naturally and she looks great and I’m proud of the way she's handled everything.
“It just goes to show what kind of partnership that we are that we're managing to keep the little fella pretty happy after a month so I think that we've given ourselves a pat on the back. But it's incredible. It's an awesome feeling and just really proud to be his mum.”
Through two rounds in Naples, Fla., Reid and Henley are currently sitting alone in 13th at 10-under, carding an 8-under 64 in the scramble format on Friday and a 2-under 70 in the foursomes format on Saturday. The pair are quite a bit behind the rest of the pack with a modified four-ball format on deck for tomorrow’s final round, but Reid recognizes that as much as they want to perform well this week, the Grant Thornton Invitational is about so much more than the numbers on the scorecard.
“I think with all the noise that's going on in golf right now, it's exactly what the golf world needs. The two tours uniting and just playing golf again. Me and the girls have been speaking, we've grown up with a lot of these guys. I mean, I've never met Russell before, but I know Rickie and all of them. It's just nice to be able to play the same tournament and just (have) a bit of a more relaxed, fun environment.
“I've always been trying to fight for a tournament like this. I think there should be, especially now, more tournaments like this, where you unite and just play golf. I think that everybody who has been part of this has really enjoyed playing. We’ve enjoyed playing with the PGA Tour guys. It's fun for us to watch them play and hopefully, it’s fun for them to watch us play. I knew this was going to be good. It's just been a great week, and I think it's awesome that Grant Thornton has done this.”