Floyd recalls late wife’s love
Four-time major champion’s career took off after his marriage to Maria.
ORLANDO — Raymond Floyd thought he knew everything there was to know about his beloved Maria.
For the better part of four decades, Maria Floyd was a fixture at her husband’s side. She was the stabilizing force who prodded Raymond to raise his game, collecting three of his four major titles after they married. The phrase “Maria and I” was as much a part of his vernacular as birdies and pars.
Then came the letters and cards that arrived after she succumbed to cancer in September.
“There were some things that she had done for people that I didn’t know about — people that I didn’t know she knew that well,” Floyd said at the Father-Son Challenge, where he teamed with his son Robert to tie for 12th on Sunday.
Floyd stopped playing tournament golf a few years ago, making the 2010 Masters his final appearance. But the Father-Son’s revival — he won five of the first seven editions with either Robert or Raymond Jr. — brought him back to the stage for a cameo with his offspring.
For years, Floyd has said he had two careers — the one before Maria came into his life and the one after they met.
When they married in 1973, Floyd was 31 and had spent four years stalled on five PGA Tour victories. His next nine seasons produced 13 wins, including the 1976 Masters and 1982 PGA Championship.
Still to come was the 1986 U.S. Open title.
■ Love had a nice pitch shot on No. 18 and son Dru finished off the birdie to capture the title. The Loves teamed for an 11-under 61 in the final round and finished at 23 under in the two-day scramble format.
■ Jack Nicklaus and son Gary, who began the day two shots off the pace, finished four back after a closing 63. ELSEWHERE Johor Open: Sergio Garcia won the rainshortened tournament in Johor, Malaysia, closing with an 11-under 61 for a three-stroke victory in the Asian Tour’s season finale.
Alfred Dunhill Championship: Charl Schwartzel coasted to a 12-shot European Tour victory in Malelane, South Africa, finishing at 24under 264.
Australian PGA Championship: Australasian Tour rookie Daniel Popovic earned a wire-to-wire victory in Coolum, Australia, shooting a 3-under 69 for a four-stroke win.
LAS VEGAS —