Golf: 'Bridesmaid' club pro risks the bride's wrath

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The Independent Online
KEN PEYRE-FERRY is one of the 44 players who will today make their debut in the US Open but the only one facing a family crisis if he performs well, writes Andy Farrell.

Playing in his national championship has been a long-held ambition of the 49-year-old club pro from New Jersey. He filled in application forms for the qualifying for almost 30 years. This year he almost did not bother since Kenny, his son and assistant pro at Little Mill in Marlton, is due to get married on Saturday.

"With your luck," Kenny said, "you'll make it this time." Last week Peyre- Ferry, with Kenny as his caddie, arrived at the last hole at a qualifier requiring a birdie to book a trip to the Olympic Club and his approach finished 15 feet from the hole.

"There were no words exchanged; our eyes just met," Ken said. "There were so many things going through our heads. All that planning and all that preparing had all come together in one split second. Finally, Kenny says: 'Dad, you make this and we're in a world of trouble'."

The wedding has been 18 months in the planning and the bride, Pam Wilson, was far from happy at the disruption to the schedule. "You can't blame her," said her future father-in-law. "This is my fault for qualifying."

The rehearsal, planned for today, the opening day of the US Open, was moved forward to last Monday. Kenny then flew across the country to San Francisco to join his father on Tuesday. He will caddie for the first two rounds before jumping on the "red-eye" overnight flight and arriving back on the east coast eight hours before he is due at the altar.

If Peyre-Ferry misses the cut, as he has done in all four of the PGA Club Pros Championships he has played in, then he will be on the plane as well. If he qualifies for the last two rounds, he has a faces a dilemma he has yet to resolve. "Would you miss your only son's wedding?" he asks.

If anyone is talking him into staying, it is Kenny. "I honestly felt I should be at the wedding no matter what but Kenny has been adamant, very adamant that I should stay."