Golfer Leaves $1M Event He Was Winning for Birth of First Child
Brandt Snedeker can thank fellow golfer Hunter Mahan's newborn child for winning the Canadian Open Sunday and becoming $1 million richer.
Snedeker won the tournament a day after Mahan withdrew with a two-stroke lead before the third and final round because his wife went into labor. While at the practice range in Oakville, Ontario, Saturday night, Mahan was notified by his agent that his wife was ready to give birth.
Mahan, 31, left behind the probable victory and a $1 million check to fly home to be with his wife, Kandi, in Dallas. The couple's first child, Zoe Olivia Mahan, was born at 3:26 a.m. Sunday, according to her proud father who witnessed the birth.
"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!" Mahan tweeted.
ABC News consultant and USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan says it was a "great moment" for anyone who is cheering for a family man.
"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," she said.
Snedeker closed with 2-under 70 for a three-stroke victory.
"Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me," Snedeker said Sunday after winning. "I can't thank Kandi enough for going into labor early. I don't know if I'd be sitting here if she hadn't. But that is a way more important thing than a golf tournament. I missed a golf tournament when my first was born, and it was the best decision I ever made. I'm sure Hunter would say the same thing."
Mahan isn't the first expectant father to face such a decision. Last September, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia found his wife was in labor during the seventh inning of a game. Once Pedroia was notified, he bolted from the field to be with his wife.