Stacy P gets love, loopin’ from Pete U
THE looper grinned, warmly, widely. Big, beaming, bursting. His heart was expanding, as he carried that bag up 18. How could it not? She was about to be the winner. That's right, his wife, Stacy P.
(Yes, Stacy P. Like Coach K, or, as former UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa once said, "Kila, Kila ... Kila Same-name-as-Bruddah-Iz.")
"Buddy, sometimes in life you've just got to learn to shut up."
-- Ray Knight, on what he learned while caddying for his wife, Nancy Lopez
Yes, she would win it, yesterday, win this Fields Open in Hawaii, win it holding off all of them. The youngsters, coming at her in waves. She kept them at bay with shot after shot, with putt after putt. She did it with tenacity, she did it with grace. She did it wearing an Oklahoma cowgirl-style shirt. She did it with her betrothed by her side. Her beloved on the bag.
That's right, her husband.
He embraced her when she won it, amidst all the applause he grabbed her and gave her a kiss and a hug. Held her tight. But not too long. He was still the caddie, and there was still official business for both of them to tend to.
But he just couldn't hide that grin.
He tended to the bag, took the flag as a keepsake. Placed the stick back into the 18th hole.
She'd done it. His wife. Stacy P.
How could he describe how he felt, having watched her do this? What was this moment like?
"Naaaaaaiiis," he said, savoring the significance with a long drawl.
He went on: All the hard work she's put into it. Everything she's been through to get to this point. More than anyone, he knew.
"I think it's definitely more bittersweet than the first (win)," she would say.
"I'm very excited to share it with him," she said.
They'd kept coming at her. All day. The youngsters. Those kids.
Angela Park, Morgan Pressel, both vying to become the youngest to win a tournament in the LPGA. Ai Miyazato, closing, she'd shoot a 6-under 66.
Jee Young Lee, within a stroke, in Stacy P's same group, never going away.
They barely let her breathe.
"I mean, 18 holes is a lot of time out there," she said. "It's 4 or 5 hours of concentration that you have got to keep yourself together."
She said, "You know, it's difficult and it's intense, but you know, you just find something within yourself to make it through."
Her husband always knew she had it in her.
But he got to be there with her when she did it.
That grin. That grin.
She'd done it. His wife. Stacy P.
She'd talked earlier in the week about working with him, how at night they don't talk about what went on during the day, they never even mention golf, they're just husband and wife. They leave it all out on the course.
Think they were going to break that rule on their "Honolulu City Lights" flight last night? Think they'd replay the way she won?
"A little bit," Pete U drawled.
Again, that grin.
She was so good. His wife. Stacy P.
He'd been a teaching pro, he said. Never caddied before he met her. Then?
"Started loopin'," he said.
A love story.
Still, how do they do this? Her, she's a champion, we know, she's won twice now. She's incredible, his grin tells us this, and besides, we've just seen it for ourselves. She held off all of them. She's incredible, his Stacy P.
But him. The husband. How does it work? I'd drive my wife crazy, in that situation, most any husband would. What is this guy, some kind of super husband?
"He didn't try to, you know, say too much or back off too much," Stacy P said. "He did exactly what he did the previous two days, which is all you can ask for a caddie, is to just be there for you."
He was. Her husband. Pete U.