Golf: Family Love is in the air

Dru Love approaches his putt on the eighth hole during the first round of the SMBC Singapore Open yesterday. He shot a two-over 73. Davis Love III shielding himself from the rain on the seventh hole yesterday. He was three under through 11 holes for
Dru Love approaches his putt on the eighth hole during the first round of the SMBC Singapore Open yesterday. He shot a two-over 73. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Dru Love approaches his putt on the eighth hole during the first round of the SMBC Singapore Open yesterday. He shot a two-over 73. Davis Love III shielding himself from the rain on the seventh hole yesterday. He was three under through 11 holes for
Davis Love III shielding himself from the rain on the seventh hole yesterday. He was three under through 11 holes for the rain-delayed round.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Few famous sporting parent-child duos can say they have competed against each other at the highest level.

This week, Davis Love III and his son Davis Love IV, who is better known as Dru, are doing so for the 14th time at the SMBC Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club, and likely not for the last time.

The elder Love, 54, admitted to being occasionally torn between being a parent and a competitor.

"It's more stress for me, really, because I'm trying to play my ball and then his as well. I always want (Dru) to play well and I prefer him to beat me," said the World Golf Hall of Famer, who also has a daughter, Alexia.

The younger Love, for his part, says that it is business as usual now, whether or not his father is in the same field.

"We've done it a few times now. At first, it was comforting to have him there and then there was more pressure because I wanted to beat him," said the 25-year-old, who turned pro in 2017 at the US Open and shot two-over 73 yesterday.

"And then I did (beat him). So now it's just playing golf."

The pair revealed that the decision to make their first trip to Singapore was a family one, even though both men are chasing qualifying spots for July's The Open Championship. The top-four finishers here not already exempt will earn berths for Royal Portrush.

"The main thing was his mum (Robin) said we were going," said Love III, who was three under through 11 holes due to a rain delay.

BUSINESS AS USUAL NOW

At first, it was comforting to have him there and then there was more pressure because I wanted to beat him. And then I did (beat him). So now it's just playing golf.

DRU LOVE, on the different stages he experienced playing his dad.

DON'T MIND LOSING TO HIM

It's more stress for me, really, because I'm trying to play my ball and then his as well. I always want (Dru) to play well and I prefer him to beat me.

DAVIS LOVE III, on having his son in the same field.

"I could be playing in the PGA Tour Champions in Hawaii this week and Dru would be in the Bahamas if he made it through Q-school. But she said, 'We're going to Singapore because we've never been' and that made it very easy."

Golf has been in the family for three generations.

The late Davis Love Jr was also a professional golfer who later became a respected instructor.

Love III's track record speaks for itself: 21 PGA Tour wins, the 1997 PGA Championship and a two-time Ryder Cup captain. Last week, he was seventh at the Sony Open in Hawaii in his 762nd PGA start.

Dru has yet to approach those peaks, but his father believes there is no hurry, saying: "The one thing I've learnt over 30 years playing is just to be patient with yourself.

"When you're young, you want things to happen fast but just being methodical goes a long way."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2019, with the headline 'Family Love is in the air'. Print Edition | Subscribe