The Mahans welcomed baby girl Zoe early Sunday morning in Dallas. (Courtesy Mahan family)
As it turns out, Hunter Mahan made it back with plenty of time to spare.
Hunter and Kandi Mahan welcomed their first child, a girl named Zoe Olivia, at 3:26 a.m. on Sunday. Hunter Mahan had left the RBC Canadian Open just over 12 hours after leaving his wife had gone into labor. At the time, he held the 36-hole lead.
On Sunday morning, Mahan tweeted: "What a whirlwind of a day, but I'm happy to announce the birth of my daughter Zoe Olivia Mahan born at 3:26 am. Thanks for all the support!"
He added: "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!"
It is not known how much time off Mahan will take from the PGA TOUR -- he is still entered in this week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
By David McPherson, Special to the PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- A moody Mother Nature, the overnight leader withdrawing, and players going low sums up the third round at the RBC Canadian Open.
After blessing Glen Abbey with perfect weather all week, Mother Nature changed her tune midway through the third round. A storm front rumbled through the area shortly after lunch, causing the tournament’s first weather delay.
The delay meant nothing to the overnight leader Hunter Mahan. He never teed off. The 31-year-old was on the driving range warming up, before the weather hit, when he received a call that his wife had gone into early labor. In a flash, he left the course, and jumped on a plane back to Dallas, Texas, to join his spouse.
Suddenly, the lead had narrowed by a couple of shots. And, with optimal scoring conditions after steady rainfall that softened the greens, players took advantage of this twist of fate.
Dustin Johnson struck first. He posted a 9-under 63 to get the early clubhouse lead at 11 under. The 29-year-old birdied the last three holes yesterday to make the cut and carried that momentum into his round today. Johnson sits T5 heading into tomorrow’s final round. Once again, he took advantage of Glen Abbey’s scoreable finishing three holes -- making birdie on 16 and an eagle on 18.
“Today I really didn’t make any mistakes,” Johnson said. “I hit it good all day long, hit it close, had a lot of birdie looks, and rolled a few putts in.”
Speaking of rolling a few putts in, that’s what Brandt Snedeker did in the afternoon -- taking only 25. With this hot putter (he said he’s had in his bag for seven years now) combined with some stellar wedge play, he matched Johnson’s 63 to take the lead heading into the final round.
“Today was obviously a great day,” Snedeker said. “I knew I was playing really well after yesterday and just kind of got some bad breaks during one stretch yesterday and went out there today and hit a lot of quality shots, gave myself a lot of good looks at birdies and obviously made a bunch of putts. When you do that, you're going to shoot a low score, and I was able to do that.”
Other players who took advantage of the softer conditions Saturday, included Matt Kuchar, who shot 64, David Lingmerth with a 65, a half-dozen other players shot 6-under 66s.
“You deal with all the elements that rain brings, but the rain also softens up the golf course, makes fairways play wider and the greens more receptive,” said Kuchar. “There were certainly a lot of opportunities for birdies. It seems like when the rain goes away, things calm down and the course gets really attackable.”
Saturday's 63 pushed Brandt Snedeker to the top of the leaderboard. (Martin/Getty Images)
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- Golf, like life, is about seizing your moments - especially when the unexpected happens.
Brandt Snedeker did that on Saturday afternoon at the RBC Canadian Open.
In a strange twist of events in the third round at Glen Abbey, the overnight leader Hunter Mahan withdrew from the tournament prior to his afternoon tee time when he received a call on the driving range that his wife Kandi had gone into early labor.
Snedeker, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am earlier this year, didn’t learn about this news until the seventh tee when he glanced at the leaderboard and didn’t see Mahan’s name. By then, it didn’t matter. Wielding a hot putter, the Tennessean had already birdied four of his first six holes to get to 9 under for the tournament. Once he learned this news, however, it inspired him to seize this opportunity and go even lower.
“I looked at my caddie, and I go, ‘what’s going on?’ He goes: ‘I think Hunter had to leave because Kandi went into labor,” said Snedeker, the reigning FedExCup champion who is fourth in the 2013 standings. “That just kind of left the tournament wide open. Hunter was going to be hard to catch because he was playing so good, and the way drives the golf ball on this golf course he was going to play really well on the weekend. For me to catch him, I knew I was going to have to shoot something really low.”
Low is where Snedeker would go. He started the round T29. Thanks to a 9-under 63, he rocketed up the leaderboard. He heads to Sunday with a one-shot lead over David Lingmerth.
Despite a steady rain for most of the afternoon, Snedeker remained focused. The Tennessean scrambled a wee bit with his driver — only hitting six of 14 fairways. Snedeker’s short game made up for this lack of accuracy off the tee. The 32-year-old only took 25 putts and dialed in his approaches, hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation.
“My wedge game has been phenomenal all week,” he said. “I’ve leaned on that a few times … hopefully I’ll continue to do it.”
As for his putting, Snedeker said it started feeling good last week at The Open Championship and he just kept those good vibes going. His only regret with his third round was that he didn’t make a couple more birdies coming home on a pair of holes that surrendered a lot of birdies and eagles today.
“I was disappointed with the way I finished on 17 and 18 not getting one there, but with the way everything kind of flipped everything with Hunter leaving, there's a great chance to win this golf tournament tomorrow, which is nice.
Looking to Sunday’s final round, Snedeker says he needs to remain aggressive and shoot a low number to win.
“I think 18‑, 19‑, 20‑under par is going to be the score to get to, and I’m going to try to get past that,” he said. “It’s one of those courses where you know you’ve got to make birdies. It’s actually kind of a comforting feeling because you know you have to be aggressive all day long.”
Watch above: Golf Channel's cameras were rolling when Hunter Mahan withdrew from the tournament in order to travel home for the birth of his first child.
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- A stunning development unfolded early Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open, with 36-hole leader Hunter Mahan withdrawing from the tournament after getting a call informing him that his wife, Kandi, had gone into labor.
“I received exciting news a short time ago that my wife Kandi has gone into labor with our first child,” said Mahan. “As a result, I have withdrawn from the RBC Canadian Open to return to Dallas. I would like to extend my very sincere gratitude and appreciation to RBC and the RBC Canadian Open.
"Kandi and I are thrilled about this addition to the Mahan family and we look forward to returning to the RBC Canadian Open in the coming years.”
Mahan grabbed the lead at Glen Abbey after shooting 67-64 to take a two-shot lead over John Merrick heading into Saturday's round. With Mahan's WD, Merrick played alone in the final group.
The final group was delayed 80 minutes due to an earlier storm, so Mahan and Merrick were one of the few groups who had yet to tee off. Golf Channel showed images of Mahan taking a phone call on the range, and moments later, he departed from the premises.
Brandt Snedeker surged into the lead with a 63 on Moving Day, and only learned Mahan had withdrawn when he didn't see Mahan's name on the leaderboard while waiting to hit on the seventh tee.
"With him leaving, it left the leaderboard wide open," Snedeker said. "It changes the complexity of the tournament. The way Hunter was playing, he was going to be hard to catch ... anyone can win now."
Mahan had played his best golf of the year this week in Glen Abbey. He was in good position for his first win of the year after a solid summer that produced top-10s at both the U.S. Open and last week at The Open Championship.
Dustin Johnson, who eagled 18 to shoot 63, played with Mahan in the first two rounds. He said the news was unexpected, but wished his PGA TOUR colleague well.
“I actually didn’t know that [his wife was due] until my caddy Bobby told me on 18,” he said. “Hopefully everything goes all right. I know it’s one of those situations where you probably wouldn't expect him to have to leave.
“But sometimes that’s just how it works. He’s playing really well right now, but yeah, I mean, things happen, and obviously I'm in a good position for going into tomorrow.”
Mahan wasn't the only player to withdraw Saturday, Canadian Brad Fritsch was forced out due to back pain before he teed off, leaving a very unusual line at the bottom of the leaderboard:
The delay was brief at Glen Abbey -- the field was back on the course as scheduled after an 80-minute delay.
The leaders will now tee off at 2:50 p.m. ET, 10 minutes before CBS comes onto the air. Barring another delay, it the field should easily complete the third round before darkness falls later Saturday.
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Thar she blows!
Shortly after noon ET on Saturday, the horn blasted at Glen Abbey for players and fans to get off the course. Moody Mother Nature showed once again that she’s the boss, although play is set to resume at 1:20 p.m. ET.
No rain or unsettled weather at the RBC Canadian Open? It was too good to be true. Blue skies sunshine reigned all week. Last time the tournament came to Glen Abbey in 2009, that wasn’t the case. Plagued by rain all week, with more than four inches of rainfall, and weather delays every day, Canada’s national open was forced to finish on a Monday -- the first time this happened in 21 years.
Depending on how much rain falls -- and how long the delay goes -- once play resumes, it will be interesting to see how it affects play. Current leader Hunter Mahan was asked about the weather yesterday and whether he thinks it could facilitate even lower scoring at Glen Abbey.
“If it rains a ton the greens get softer, it’ll be a little different golf course,” he said. “It’ll probably play a little bit longer too because I think we’re getting pretty good bounces out there. The ball is jumping up the fairway a little bit. We’ll just have to see.”