The Washington Times - July 4, 2008, 06:45PM

Watching your favorite golfer can be nerve-racking at times. The shots sliced into the trees. The lip-outs on the green. But imagine if that suffering soul who just blew it on the back nine was your future husband. Or your son. That’s what Jody Schmidt, John Merrick’s fiancee, and Fran Marino, Steve’s mother, were going through Friday afternoon as they followed their men around Old Blue. 

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Granted, Merrick and Marino faired well — both were slated to make the cut before thunderstorms suspended play on the final hole — but there were tense moments for each woman.

 

“I can’t watch this,” Fran said as her son prepared to chip his way out of a bunker. “All right  OK, all right.” she stammered as he knocked the shot onto the green. “Good shot! Good shot!”

 

Schmidt had the joy of seeing her soon-to-be-husband hit a 130-yard eagle on 18. It is moments like that thatcq make trekking behind John better than simply watching on TV back at the clubhouse.

 

“I always follow him,” said Schmidt, who met John when the two were students at UCLA. “It’s a good way to meet other player’s wives.”

Schmidt says that most of the Tour wives who don’t have children walk the links with their husbands. There is one spouse, however, who is never seen standing by her man: Elin Nordegren. 

 

“She doesn’t hang out with us much,” Schmidt said of Tiger Woods’ wife. “I don’t blame her. With his fan following, it’s hard to see anything.”