What did Rooney miss most? "Dinner with family, putting my daughters to bed, reading the sports section, taking showers longer than three minutes," he says. "And drinking Miller Lite on the golf course."
Tiger married a Swedish bikini model. Noonan married his college sweetheart, Jacqy. "She watches CNN every night," he says, "and wonders, Is my husband going to come home?" In addition to Victoria, they have an eight-month-old, Tatum, whose father--now a 32-year-old captain--came home three weeks ago and took a glorious hourlong shower.
That home, like Woods's, is on a golf course. But Tiger lives in the gated golf community of Isleworth in Orlando. And Noonan lives on the 9th tee of the Battle Creek muni in Broken Arrow, Okla. "We call it the Hospitality Stop," says Rooney, "because my wonderful wife is always waiting there with beers when we go by."
And he goes by often. Rooney, who flies six days a month for the Air Force, holds a day job with a golf company that owns a course in Michigan, where he was playing last week on vacation. "Now I play without fear," he says. "I know golf is not life and death."
Funny how life works. Two college golfers aspire to greatness. One goes on tour and performs heroically under pressure. And the other becomes Tiger Woods.
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