Micheel plays in the Target World Challenge ' Tiger Woods tournament ' this weekend. His wife, Stephanie, will probably skip work as a family law attorney to accompany him. The two of them will exchange glances across the Sherwood Country Club fairways ' as they always do during the six or seven times a year when she accompanies him. It was those quiet glances that got him through the toughest week of his career four months ago.
She was at the PGA, and what really got me through the last day was that I tried to find her every single hole, Micheel was saying at the recent Franklin Templeton Shootout. I only saw her about once or twice, but between shots
You know, theres so much time in between ' so much time to think about what could happen, what might happen, whatever. But I really tried to find her throughout the whole day. And it just kept me more focused.
Because when she leaves their home and her practice in Memphis, Micheel knows it will be a special week. She cant travel all the time, so he savors the days she spends with him at his workplace. Its a special time, and Shaun goes out of his way to make Stephanie feel special.
When shes out with me, I really try to pay attention ' make sure she knows where the first tee is its just nice to have somebody to go to dinner with. Its nice not to sit there and have to talk about golf every single minute, said Micheel.
I certainly make an effort to find her and talk to her during the round ' and she loves being out there. Were playing 4 -5 hour rounds, it gets a little monotonous sometimes. But its a little break for her ' like I say, I love having her out.
Her job ' shes only missed one sick day in seven years ' makes it difficult for Stephanie to travel. That doesnt make for a good lifestyle when you have a job that requires you to constantly be away from home ' as Shaun does. Both knew that he was going to be a professional golfer from the beginning. Micheel admits there were times of doubt about the wedding ' he didnt know if they were going to be able to handle the constant separation.
Marriage was tough on me in the beginning because I wasnt sure how Stephanie was going to handle my time away from home, he said. She has a career, very independent, very goal-oriented, and Im so proud to have her. And I do love having her around.
Stephanie finds it very difficult to accept the conditions of Shauns occupation. I dont think she enjoys my lifestyle ' traveling every week and Sundays packing up, checking another hotel, he said.
I know that there are a lot of wives out here that do that, and a lot of the children out here are home-schooled. But for me ' I dont think that would work very well for our relationship. What her goals were in college ' being an attorney and everything ' I would hate to see her give that up.
On Nov. 20, the two of them became a threesome. Dade Palmer Micheel was born at 2 in the afternoon. Shaun was thrilled ' and regardless of how much the baby wakes up at night, Micheel Sr. is going to sleep better now. Ten days before the baby was born, Shaun explained why his nights have been pretty sleepless.
I used to lie in bed and think about the golf course, what score I was going to shoot the next day, he said. Thats been replaced with what were going to name the child.
So now there are three. Micheel has another love his life to go along with Stephanie. Ive always loved kids, Shaun said.
But again, theres this career thing. The life of a golfer doesnt make for a good father ' in most instances. He just hopes he can be an exception.
I have had some friends of mine over the years who have had kids, he said, and maybe they have been a little bit distracted. Golf is a little bit of a selfish sport in that its just you out there. I felt a few years ago that I wasnt ready for children, just because I felt that might take away from what I was trying to do.
Micheel has his major championship trophy now, but he has something a whole lot more important. He has a wife, and now he also has a son. Nothing else really matters.
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