Father's Day memo to Sean O'Hair: Don't go, Daddy!
Sean O'Hair will begin play on Sunday six shots off the lead. His wife, Jackie, is due to give birth any minute to the couple's third child. Accordingly, O'Hair is carrying a beeper and says that if it goes off, thus notifying him that the blessed event is imminent, he will depart Bethpage forthwith. This follows the precedent of Phil Mickelson, who carried a beeper 10 years ago at Pinehurst. (It didn't go off before tournament's end.)The advice I am about to give does not apply if there are any complications surrounding the birth. And, of course, O'Hair's issues with his father, Marc, are well known, and perhaps give him further incentive to do the right thing as a parent. But as a card-carrying father of 25 years, I say: Sean, if you have a chance to win the U.S. Open, stay right where you are and watch the birth on video after the tournament. Yes, it's great to be present for the birth of a child. But as millions of us males have discovered, the event would have proceeded without us! And for millions of others -- soldiers, for instance -- it did! (My own daughter was born on a Super Bowl weekend. Lucky for all of us she arrived on Saturday so I could watch the game with a clear conscience and an unfractured skull.)Believe me: The kid will have no recollection of you being there. And I can virtually guarantee that if he or she hears that you passed up a chance to win the U.S. Open to attend the birth, the less-than-grateful teenage whelp will call you a dweeb, or a dork, or whatever the appropriate semi-affectionate term for wifty old dad is in 15 years.After all, what comes around more often -- the opportunity to win the U.S. Open, or the chance to have more kids? I rest my case. And... Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there.