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Lisa Belkin Headshot

If Dad Is A Golf Champion, Does He Have To Change Diapers?

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Macho male golfers, who happily play at one of the last vestiges of officially sanctioned chauvinism in the country, love their babies!

That is one possible take away from the report in the New York Times sports section on Friday about the many brand new fathers playing at the Masters this past weekend.

Author Sam Borden didn't mention, in this particular story, the fact that Augusta National, where the tournament was held, refuses to admit women. (Nor did he discuss the recurring firestorm this causes, though nothing much ever seems to change as a result.)

Instead he wrote charmingly about how player Jonathan Byrd, spent most nights in his hotel room during the tournament "video chatting with his wife, who gave birth to the couple's third child on March 30."

And how Zach Johnson, the father of two sons, recalled bringing the oldest to a tournament as an infant and noticing that time and space were more crowded. The hotel room felt "very different than before," he told Borden, then asked, "What'd I do with all my time when I didn't have kids?"

What caught my attention, though, and stuck in my craw, was the story of Bubba Watson. He was not bedecked with the winner's ceremonial Green Jacket until yesterday -- but Borden had declared him a different sort of victor long before that.

Why? Watson is the father of a one-month-old son and, well, I'll let Borden tell you:

Of course, some might say Watson is a champion already. Asked how many diapers he changed before leaving for the Masters, Watson shrugged and shook his head only a little bit sheepishly. "I haven't changed a diaper yet," he said through a wide smile. "I'm winning right now."

He hasn't changed a diaper yet. So some might say he is already a champion. Ordinarily a Mesozoic remark like that wouldn't even be worth the energy it takes to express outrage. But drape it across the backdrop of a golf club where the president of IBM -- a chief sponsor of the tournament -- is refused membership because she has the equipment one uses to give birth, it makes this particular fan turn a different shade of green.

Is it charming to read stories about involved-fathers-as-adorable-artifacts? Or depressing?