PGA Tour Confidential: Brandt Snedeker wins Canadian Open, Hunter Mahan WDs

Hunter Mahan
Hunter Martin / Getty Images
Leading by two shots on Saturday morning, Hunter Mahan withdrew from the Canadian Open to be with his wife during the birth of their first child.

3. Hunter Mahan was leading the Canadian Open and warming up Saturday morning when he received a call that his wife had gone into labor. Mahan immediately withdrew and left for the hospital, Did Mahan make the right decision, wrong decision, or was it just a bad idea to play the event to begin with?

Passov: I don't know any of the facts regarding a due date, which might make No. 3 the best answer, but short of that, he's a total stud for having his priorities in order.

Bamberger: I'd feel presumptuous trying to answer for another person. For myself, I would have played. The child is not going to remember the blessed event. For the new dad to win, or even contend, during the embryonic journey is a family story forever.

Van Sickle: No golf tournament or title compares with a human life or the birthing experience. Mahan made the right call and it was an easy one. Maybe he could've saved himself the trouble and not gone to the Canadian but who's truly clairvoyant? What? I knew you'd say that.

Shipnuck: I understand why Hunter tried to cram in one more tourney -- he's been playing well all summer long and will be on diaper duty the rest of the year, so why not give it a go? But he certainly made the right call in withdrawing. I mean, this was the Canadian Open, not the U.S. Open. And you simply can't miss the birth of your first child.

Ritter: You could almost hear wives across the world turning to their husbands and asking, "Would you have done that for me?" The answer, of course, is yes, he did the right thing. And given the paycheck Hunter potentially passed up, you could say that his newborn daughter has instantly become golf's very own "Million Dollar Baby."

4. For the second time in two weeks, we had a 59 on the Tour, this time courtesy of 28-year-old Scot Russell Knox. Given today's equipment, and the increasing frequency with which these sub-60 rounds are happening, has shooting a 59 lost some of its luster?

Bamberger: Yes. Fifty-eight is the new 59.

Van Sickle: Shooting 59 sure isn't like breaking the four-minute mile like it was when Al Geiberger did it. With the distances the modern players hit it, 59 is considerably easier. Charting the frequency of such rounds would show a marked increase over time. So yeah, it's not as big a deal. Especially when you shoot it in Double-A ball.

Passov: Tons of buzz if it happened in a regular Tour event. Look at the crazy publicity when Phil lipped out for 59 at Phoenix this year. OK, it was Phil, and it was Phoenix. Scores on the Tour seem to be so low week after week, with folks posting them who aren't exactly household names, that these 59s almost lack legitimacy -- almost. Still impressive to do it in a tournament that pays prize money.

Ritter: There haven't been that many yet -- I still see a 59 on the PGA Tour in the same light as a perfect game in baseball, and they've happened about as often. But this latest 59 happened in the minor leagues, and on a short course. Nice round, but not that big of a deal.

Shipnuck: Wake me when someone shoots a 57. For pros today a 6,800 yard course like Hillcrest C.C., where Knox shot his 59, is laughably short. In fact, 7,800 yards is too short. To really challenge the pros -- to make them hit mid- to long-irons into a handful of par-4s and a couple par-3s, and to have two or three par-5s play as three-shotters -- a course would need to be 9,000 yards, maybe more. I mean, a 500 yard par-4 is driver/9-iron to most of these guys. So, yeah, 59 has been badly devalued by the distance explosion.

Go to Page 3

PGA Tour News
Travel & Courses
Tips & Videos
The Shop
Equipment News & Reviews