JULY 30, 2012
Mourning Reid Plays On For Her Mum
June brought an emotional
victory for Melissa Reid.
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE | Last week
was a tough one for Melissa Reid. The
Evian Masters was her mother’s favourite
tournament and from the moment the
24-year-old Melissa arrived, the memories started to unfurl. Joy Reid had loved
the little lakeside town, the mountain
views, the flowers and the event itself.
It was as recently as 22 May that Brian
and Joy Reid were involved in a head-on
crash prior to the German Masters. Joy
was taken to one hospital, her husband to
another. Melissa rushed to each of them in
turn and was able to take her father to her
mother’s bedside before she died.
When she returned to the UK, Melissa
wasted no time in collecting all her belongings and moving back to her parents’
home. She is now in the process of selling
her property and will stay with her father
for the foreseeable future.
“I’m a daddy’s girl,” explained Melissa,
the hottest property on the LET and a
member of last year’s winning European
Solheim Cup side. “We’re very similar and
he, like me, has lost his best pal. We’re
tough on the outside but, when we’re at
home, it kills me to see his pain.”
Reid has always had plenty of friends
among her rivals on the US and European
tours but, when her mother died, she saw
another side to the players: They were as
compassionate as they were competitive.
On the LPGA Tour, where she hopes
to be playing in 2013, each of the women
wore a purple badge inscribed with the
name “Joy.” At home, Laura Davies, who
said at the Solheim that Melissa was like
the daughter she never had, penned her
name on her ball for the German event.
She lost in a play-off when Melissa had so
longed for her to win.
The funeral took place on the Wednes-
day after the Prague. “I’d done what I had
set out to do,” says the player. “I put a bit
of smile on people’s faces.”
Paula Creamer is just one to have mar-
velled at what the Englishwoman achieved.
“It was one of the most heart-warming
stories I’ve ever known,” said the Ameri-
can. “For Melissa to fight through all that
and then to go on to win was remarkable.”
Jiyai Shin, who lost her mother in a
crash when she was just 13, suggested
that Melissa would always have this feel-
ing that her mother was looking out for
her. “It never gets easy but Melissa has
lots of friends and fans. They will help.
When I spend time with my friends, they
stop me from feeling too sad.”
For now, Melissa has good weeks and
bad. The letters now only trickle through
the letterbox and the loneliness has
kicked in. Her caddie, Breanne Loucks,
and her manager, Vicky Cumming, are
there for her and she doubts whether she
could be coping on Tour without them.
Half of her would like to disappear
off the face of the golfing earth for a few
weeks but, whenever she starts thinking
along those lines, she asks herself what
her mother would have advised. The answer, here, is that she would have wanted
her to keep practising and to stick with it.
No one was surprised that Melissa who,
like Maria Sharapova, is an Evian ambassador, would shine in her ambassadorial
role last week. She went up in Evian’s
helium balloon and participated in the
annual football game in which she, Carly
Booth and Laura Davies played alongside
the caddies against a local Evian side.
Looking further down the road, Reid
has what she suspects is a pretty good
insight into the long-term effects of losing
“Eventually,” she ventures, “it will
make me stronger and more mature. I
think there will come a point where you
could throw anything at me and I’d be able
to take it on the chin.” l