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HEARTS OF TEXAS
Gerina Mendoza
May 23, 2011
Can marriage survive life on the world's top tours? We're going to find out
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May 23, 2011

Hearts Of Texas

Can marriage survive life on the world's top tours? We're going to find out

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RANK PLAYER (FIRST-PLACE VOTES) POINTS LST. WK.
1. Lee Westwood (8) 142 1
2. Luke Donald (6) 137 2
3. Martin Kaymer (1) 110 3
4. Charl Schwartzel 81 4
5. Bubba Watson 74 5
6. Phil Mickelson 63 6
7. Graeme McDowell 57 9
8. Rory McIlroy 47 7
9. Nick Watney 40 10
10. K.J. Choi 32

We've been married five months now, and it's going well, although it's a learning experience. When we met, one of us was on the Nationwide tour (Martin) and the other was on the Futures tour (Gerina), so we knew what we were getting into, but neither of us really considered that we would both qualify for the big leagues at the same time. Now, it's our claim to fame—the first married rookies on the PGA and LPGA tours. If you have to be known for something, that's not a bad thing to be known for.

The most obvious question is how we deal with the travel. It's hard enough for couples when only one of them is on tour. So far, though, it has been better than when we were dating. Last year, after we got engaged, we were apart for six weeks because we were both traveling so much. At the same time, it's great to be married to another pro golfer because sometimes you come off the course and a fan says "good round," but you're not happy with how you played, and you're living with another person who understands why it wasn't a good day.

But we draw the line on talking golf at home, unless someone asks for help. If no one asks, the other one doesn't offer. We each know our own game, and we've been working with our individual teachers for a while, so we rely on them for swing advice. And the bottom line is we're not going to stay together because we're two pro golfers. Golf is what we do, not who we are.

At the same time, we love to play golf together. That's how we met. We live in Dallas, and a mutual friend set up a round. We had never met, and we both made our own assumptions. (He didn't know how far some of the women, including Gerina, can hit it; she assumed he was older and married.) When we got to the club, we quickly figured out that we were the same age (25) and loved the same things, and it simply went from there.

When we play together, it's very competitive and either of us could win. At home we both play from the back tees. When it's a superlong course, Gerina will move up one set of tees, but no strokes are given and wagers are optional. (Gerina: "I like playing for new shoes.")

Neil Wilkins (Martin's teacher) says that if we could combine ourselves into one player (with Gerina's driver and Martin's putter), we would always win. The Heritage has a husband-wife tournament in which the husbands caddie for their wives. We liked our odds, but we ended up not going to the tournament, so somebody else won it.

Besides we have bigger dreams. We plan to lean on our faith and each other and look forward to the day we both win on the same Sunday. That will be awesome.

SI GOLF RANKING

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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