The U.S. Open fits with Father's Day

Jun. 16, 2014 @ 01:24 AM

Fran Quinn’s Father’s Day weekend was a pretty good one, by all accounts. He got to play on Sunday at the U.S. Open, a tournament which he led at one point in the first round and got to four under par at one point in the second round.

He shared the whole experience with his 15-year-old son Owen as his caddie.

When asked if being part of the tournament exceeded his expectations, Fran said an emphatic yes.

“It was just from the standpoint of having my son on the bag, having a chance,” he said, “leading the U.S. Open on day one and being around the lead all day. It was something that Owen and I will always remember and talk about for a long time until he’s leading the U.S. Open.”

I’ve never caddied for my father in the U.S. Open. That’s a pretty unique experience Owen Quinn has over a lot of us hackers. Owen’s also a 3 handicap, something else he’s got on us.

But Fran wasn’t too sure that Owen was pleased.

“I think after this weekend he’s fired me,” he said, to laughter.

As I walked around Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday, evidences of Father’s Day were everywhere. On the fifth tee, a father crouched as his young son, probably four or five, watched with curiosity the tee shots of Marcel Siem and J.B. Holmes.

Walking along the tenth fairway, I saw a father and son wearing matching lime green golf shirts.

A dad holding the hand of his young daughter as they walked along. Fathers and sons sharing beers and talking golf. Two young sons play-fighting with their father by a concession stand.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a bill into law that permanently recognized the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Ever since then, it’s been a yearly reminder to sons and daughters to call up their dads and thank them for everything they’ve done in their lives.

Something about the sport of golf particularly lends itself to the relationship between fathers and children. The dad is the first one who takes you to the driving range, sets up a tee for you and buys you a short little driver to take a hack with. You probably missed horribly. Then he helped you grip it right and helped you swing properly.

That’s what happened for me. My dad also taught me the importance of golf etiquette, like not throwing your club when you hit a bad shot, something I did far too often as a kid. I would get frustrated and angry and want to quit. But my dad wouldn’t let me. No, I had to do it right.

I never thought I would beat my dad in golf. And it has yet to happen. We haven’t played enough that it could happen. But last summer we played the front nine of a course in Pinehurst, and he shot a 42 and I shot a 43, the closest we’ve gotten. I was also playing the best golf of my life that day.

If I got to play one round in the U.S. Open, I would most assuredly need a caddie. I’m a terrible golfer, and I would need help reading greens and figuring out which club to hit and so on and so forth. I’d pick my dad, simply for his years of golf experience and his ability to calm me down.

Thankfully, he’d be as good, if not better, a caddie for the rest of life.

Hope you had a good Father’s Day, Dad.