Seven years is a long time to stand by your man.
So Mark Hubbard knew he had to make the proposal special, and that’s just what the PGA TOUR rookie did on Thursday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
The 25-year-old Hubbard was playing in the final group of the day at the storied Pebble Beach links. He wasn’t playing particularly well but in a weird way that helped keep his mind off what was going to happen after he made the final putt.
That’s when the gigantic electronic scoreboard at the 18th hole switched screens. The leaderboard was replaced by the words “Meghan, will you marry me?”
And as Meghan McCurley ducked under the gallery ropes, Hubbard dropped to one knee and took the ring out of his pocket. The crowd applauded as she said yes.
“I’m beyond happy,” McCurley said, beaming, her left hand, with that diamond glistening in the sunlight, visibly shaking.
Hubbard had been planning the unique proposal since Thanksgiving after he asked McCurley’s father for his permission. The two had been dating ever since they were introduced by friends at San Jose State where she was on the swimming team and he played golf.
“Actually her mom had the idea,” Hubbard said. “… She just thought it would be cool to include golf and we have been together for so long, I felt like I had to do something different than just take her out to dinner or something.
“So it just kind of all clicked.”
Hubbard’s first idea was to write the proposal on a caddy bib. But he mentioned his plan to some PGA TOUR officials and they suggested the LED board.
“I was like, uh, sold,” Hubbard said with a smile, and the plan was hatched.
Hubbard actually got off to a good start on Thursday, rolling in birdie putts at the third and fourth holes before giving those shots back with a double bogey at the par-3 fifth. He made his last birdie at No. 6, then bogeyed the 13th to drop back to even par again.
Not that the score ultimately mattered in the overall scheme of things.
“Coming down the stretch, it was just kind of a grind for me today anyway, so I think that kind of helped,” Hubbard said. “If I had had a really good round going, I definitely would have been thinking on 18 like, oh God, don’t blow this.
“But it was just a frustrating hoe-hum day, so it kind of kept my attention off the last hole.”
With the Pacific Ocean framing the entire left side of the fairway, the tee shot on Pebble Beach’s 18th is problematic even in the best of circumstances. Hubbard’s drive didn’t draw as he had planned, landing in the bunkers on the right and settling about a foot from the lip. Again, concentration was key.
And when he ran that 20-footer some 30 inches past the hole?
“I was like, man, it would really suck to three-putt right now,” he said. “So I was pretty glad I made that second one.”
Although Hubbard joked that the wedding would be Friday when he played Monterey Peninsula, the couple actually hasn’t thought that far ahead. But one thing’s for certain. Hubbard wasn’t going to hit the driving range Thursday evening.
“(We’re going) to celebrate for sure,” he said.