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On the right course to missionary goal

Pro golfer is following well-defined plan to top off career, share gospel with others

A well-mapped-out plan for his future got a big boost when professional golfer Mike Reid won the Senior PGA Championship the last week of May. A member of the Cascade 2nd Ward, Orem Utah Cascade Stake, Brother Reid's plan is on track toward his ultimate goal of serving a mission with his wife, Randolyn.

He shared his goals during a Church News telephone interview from Polk City, Iowa, where he had another nice payday with a third-place finish in the Allianz Championship the first weekend in June.

"I'm going to give it all I've got for at least five years, and if my health holds out, I'll play 20 to 25 events over the next four years and then start tapering off," he said. "Then, at age 60, my wife and I look forward to serving a mission."

He emphasized, "I'm not going to let golf own me again like it did for a while on the PGA tour. It required more of me then. We'll enjoy this experience together a little bit more as a family."

After already supporting his family with a solid career on the Professional Golfers Association Tour, when he turned 50 last June he became eligible to play on the PGA Champions Tour, formerly the Senior PGA Tour.

The mission goal is one shared by his wife, who said it is something he has always wanted to do since joining the Church while attending BYU in 1974. Sister Reid is also looking forward to a mission. She didn't get to go as a young woman, she said during a Church News telephone interview, because she was married at age 19.

She said that when Mike Reid, still a relatively fresh face on the PGA Tour, first strolled into the office where she worked, she was not far removed from her days at Brighton High School and as an enthusiastic member of the district seminary council. Brother Reid said that he made the trip on the advice of Jeanne Brockbank, a friend of his, and Randolyn's aunt.

The golfer immediately asked her to go on a date that night. Her reaction? She said she knew that night that they would get married, "but he didn't know it."

They were married in the Salt Lake Temple about six months later — on Dec. 12, 1979.

Brother Reid has proven to be something more than an excellent golfer, Sister Reid said. She indicated he is an outstanding husband and father, a true friend, a worthy priesthood holder, and a man who loves the gospel.

He reached a pinnacle in golf two weeks ago by winning the Senior PGA Championship in Ligonier, Pa. He stormed back from three strokes behind with one hole to play to tie Jeff Pate and Dana Quigley. He rolled in a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win, calling the experience "Christmas in June."

Sixteen years earlier, he made a name for himself with a stunning loss in the PGA Championship. (People tend to overlook how well winner Payne Stewart played that day, he said.) With a solid lead, he had a bogey and double-bogey down the stretch of the tournament to lose by a stroke to Stewart who birdied four of the last five holes.

Speaking four days after his recent victory, he said from all the calls he received he must have made as many people happy for winning as had shared his disappointment when he lost.

Thinking about the contrasting experiences, he said two words stand out: "Strength and peace. I needed both of those in great amounts on both occasions — the low time 16 years ago, and then in order to compete and to be confident and pull off what I did to win. Strength and peace are what the gospel can give everyone."

Sister Reid has been with him during most of the ups and downs of his pro career.

Though he grew up outside the Church, by the time she met her future golfer-husband, he had already embraced the gospel. A few years earlier he arrived in Provo, Utah, to attend BYU and play for its golf team.

He took note of the examples set by the people around him, such as his coach, Carl Tucker, and his wife's Aunt Jeanne and her husband, Bruce, parents of current BYU golf coach Bruce Brockbank. Brother Reid was baptized by Coach Tucker.

He chose to attend BYU out of high school in San Antonio, Texas, because it had an atmosphere where he believed his talent could blossom.

"BYU felt like a family that would care about me whether I played well or not," he said. "It worked out precisely that way."

He was a credit to his BYU family, soaring to all-America status. That launched him onto the PGA tour.

After three years playing pro golf as a bachelor, Brother Reid took on a traveling partner when he married Randolyn. She went on the road, but didn't particularly like it.

"You can't take a 19-year-old girl from Utah and throw her out in the world," she said. Sometimes, she added, "I wished he would miss the cut because I wanted to go home."

During one event, Brother Reid was so concerned about his wife's homesickness that he flew her mother out to be with her during the final rounds.

Traveling together was curtailed with the arrival of children, six in all. But the family wasn't neglected, Sister Reid said. "Mike is one of those people who lets the children know they come first," she said. "He sends them cards, does everything with them when he's home and follows through with spending individual time with each child at least once a month." And, occasionally, Mom took the kids to a tour event.

Growing up as fans of their dad, the children were thrilled, as was their mother, when he won the PGA Senior Championship, adding it to PGA wins in the 1987 Tucson Open and 1989 World Series of Golf.

As big as the tournament triumph was, it was only one element in a wonderful month of May, Brother and Sister Reid agreed. There were several gospel highlights. Brother Reid ordained his oldest son Daniel, an elder. Daniel, a quality young golfer himself, baptized his youngest sister, Hannah Jo, who was then confirmed by her father. Brother and Sister Reid attended Daniel's high school and seminary graduation and celebrated the 15th birthday of daughter Clarissa. Sharing in the family joy were son John, 11; daughter Lauren and her husband, Burke Soffe; and daughter Brendalyn with her husband, Chad Hacking, and their son, Aden.

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