I don't say this often enough: thanks, mom and dad. My mom virtually ran a mini-day care yesterday, as onechan's best friend in Clinton, who lives next door to my parents, came over to play all of a rainy morning and most of a sometimes-only-cloudy afternoon with imoto and her, while my dad and I got 13 holes in at a course I used to practice on in my college golf days before we were rained out. And my dad solved my problems with my short irons and wedges with a single phrase. Yeah, I still made a few bad swings, had accuracy and distance control issues on my approach shots, and except for two circus putts couldn't get anything to drop, but I was hitting the vast majority of my shots pure, hitting a million fairways and more greens than usual, and keeping it together with only 4 bogeys and a birdie on a course that was playing long and in a light rain for half the holes we played. Heck, I even played a stretch of 5 holes in 1-under and our last 7 in E (after screwing up the easier opening holes), so who knows what I could have done over the last 5? My dad's game has changed remarkably little, even after 2 rounds of prostate cancer treatment almost a decade apart. He still obsesses over equipment, hits fairways like clockwork no matter which driver he's using that day, has the meanest wedge game in the family, and may even be capable of benefitting from the putting lesson I gave him (after the round, of course!).
As it turned out, we were forced off the course in plenty of time to get ready to watch the Women's British Open coverage on ABC. Sure, imoto and then onechan saved her meltdown for my return, but they got back to having a blast with their friend relatively quickly, and even paid some attention to what was happening at Royal Lytham. Onechan and I both had to deal with some pretty big disappointments--her players Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer and mine Ai Miyazato simply couldn't match Catriona Matthew's magical putter down the stretch and, except for Karrie, suffered through late links golf implosions. But nobody can take being in contention in a major away from them and they're going to learn a lot from the experience. Until Matthew made those 3 birdies in a row from all over the course, it really was anyone's tournament. Getting to watch this with my parents and girls was truly special. Yeah, I didn't get to keep the Futures Tour ladies company in the rain at Syracuse, but it was pretty cool to complain with my mom about how long it took before ABC showed us a leaderboard at the start of their coverage (8 minutes!!) and to see how excited she was for Paula, Ai-sama, and the two Solheim Cup US picks, Juli Inkster and Michelle Wie. And it was fun trying to wake my dad up for the key shots down the stretch.
Plus we got to see Tiger get win #69, take a walk down to the college to see how much had changed since the last time I had been there (a lot!), and almost have a movie night (until Night at the Museum freaked onechan out too much; imoto, of course, was unfazed, but found the Clifford episodes my mom had taped an acceptable substitute). All in all, a nice Sunday. Thanks, mom and dad!
(Next on the Onechan & Imoto Upstate NY Tour: hanging with their best friend in Rochester, Alter Ego's 3-year-old, and catching up with the Full Metal Archivist when she gets off work in Buffalo!)