Sunday at the US Open is one of the best days in sports, but because it falls on Father’s Day it is for a lot of folks a bittersweet day because their dads are no longer with them. There are a handful of days where I miss my dad a lot, and this is one of them.
Nearly every Father’s Day at my parent’s house was the same; breakfast, the Sunday newspapers, and then watching the US Open. My Mom would usually have Sunday dinner around 5pm in those days, and with the TV off so we could all eat together without distractions. Except this Sunday. The US Open would be on, and the volume up so we could hear the commentary.
The last year that tradition would take place was 1995, but of course we didn’t know it at the time. The only thing I really remember about that year was it was the first US Open I didn’t live at my parent’s house, that Corey Pavin won over Greg Norman (who was one of Dad’s favorite golfers), and my daughter was bored out of her mind watching golf. I wish I remembered more, but to be honest no one had any idea he wouldn’t be around for the next one.
We watched lots of sports together, including other golf events like The Masters and British Open (he refused to call it “The Open” as it’s supposed to be called, although I never asked him why), and other stuff like The Indy and Daytona 500s, The Kentucky Derby (Dad, to my knowledge, never bet on horse racing but had an uncanny knack for picking the winners of The Derby), and a few others. I even remember back to 1986 when I was watching what was supposed to be the Red Sox beating the Mets for the World Series title and waking Dad up so he could watch the bottom of the 9th inning (he always went to bed at 8pm because he just about always got up at 4:30am, work or not). I recall the expletive he yelled out when the ball when through Billy Buckner’s legs. That’s a funny memory now and I have an ear to ear grin thinking about it, but not so much at the time.
But it’s the US Open that was “our” event. My brother occasionally joined us throughout the day, but Dad and I watched just about every shot. So this Father’s day, just like every year I can remember, I’ll be watching the US Open. And I hope, somewhere, somehow, so will he.