British OpenJuly 15, 2015

Ben Martin's wife is not at the British Open, and the reason will make you laugh

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- On the back nine of Tuesday's practice round, Zach Johnson told a funny story about Ben Martin, and why his wife Kelly won't be attending this year's British Open at St. Andrews. He had us in stitches, so I tracked Martin down before his own practice round this morning and got the details straight from the source:

In February, Kelly's sister Emily (Ben's sister-in-law) got engaged. She and her fiance planned to get married this summer, and later that month, they began to search for a reception venue and a church. Ben and Kelly were at the Honda Classic, and while Ben was at the course practicing early in the week, Kelly got a phone call. It was Emily -- she wanted her sister at the wedding, of course, and was calling to see which weekends would be most convenient with Ben's schedule. Kelly took out her calendar, flipped to the summer, and saw what looked like a perfect date: Saturday, July 18. That would definitely work, she thought, based on the words she saw written on the page:

"Open week."

Related: Why it's ok to call this major the "British Open"

It worked for Emily, too. By the time Ben got back from the course that day, his sister-in-law had already booked the reception and the church for that weekend. Kelly told him the news, and he paused.

View image | gettyimages.com

"That doesn't sound like a very good weekend," he said.

"No, it was in my calendar," she said, starting to worry. "It was open."

"Yeah," he said. "The Open Championship. The British Open."

By the time she called her sister back, everything was booked, and since they weren't 100 percent positive that Ben would qualify for St. Andrews, they couldn't ask her to change. But he did qualify, in May, and that's why Martin's wife, who travels with him almost every week, won't be there for the best tournament of all, and why Martin won't be at his sister-in-law's wedding.

(Incidentally, it's also another great example of why all Americans should call it the "British Open.")

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