Professional golfer Hunter Mahan proved where his priorities lie during the Canadian Open last weekend. Although he was leading by more than two strokes, he willingly sacrificed the potential $1 million prize so he could be present during the birth of his first child.
In video obtained by ABC, Mahan was seen practicing on the Ontario course before the final round of the tournament when his agent approached him with a phone. Without hesitation, Mahan put away his clubs and left the course. He then caught a plane back to Dallas to be by his wife’s side while she delivered their first child, a girl named Zoe.
Although the decision may have cost Mahan monetarily, he said he has no regrets.
Both Baby and Mom are doing great. Thanks to all to my sponsors who appreciate what's important in life and all my fans for being Awesome!
— Hunter Mahan (@HunterMahan) July 28, 2013
The new dad has already announced he won’t participate in the upcoming Bridgestone Invitational so that he can spend more time at home with his family. That may not help his professional statistics, but Mahan’s choices are winning him personal fans.
“In this day and age in sports where we’re sick and tired of all the steroid athletes and the misbehavior, to hear about a man who does that, is pretty cool,” said USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan.
He also received congratulations from Brandt Snedecker, who ultimately came from behind to win the $1 million prize at the Canadian Open.
“Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me,” Snedeker said, reminiscing about when he pulled out of a 2011 tournament to attend the birth of his first child. “It was the best decision I ever made. I’m sure Hunter would say the same thing.”
Congratulations to the Mahan family — and thanks to Hunter for reminding us all what really matters!