Wednesday, April 26, 2006

For PGA Players, Katrina is What Matters

From the Mercury News -- The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is being held this week at English Turn golf course near New Orleans. It is the first major sporting event to be held in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area last year.

"Scott Verplank walked past a long row of shiny courtesy cars and stepped into an office to register for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a routine he follows just about every time he plays on the PGA Tour.

Once inside, however, it didn't take long to realize the focus this week goes far beyond golf.

Behind him on a wall was a bright orange poster with photos showing the destruction from Hurricane Katrina - a house that had been gutted, water nearly reaching the eaves of another house, a river running through Canal Street, where players stayed in hotels only a year ago. On a table next to him was a photo album showing more damage, including black-and-blue splotches of mold in the home of Sammy Culotta, who handles the computer operations at the tournament."

Later in the article, "Olin Browne didn't need to look at any pictures.

He went fishing Monday with Paul Azinger, and they took a detour through some of the hardest-hit sections of New Orleans. Browne said he saw a boat in the middle of a field, and countless slabs of concrete where houses had been destroyed.

Browne is staying in the same downtown hotel he was in last year, which he considers a minor miracle.

"They've done a pretty heroic job putting it back together," he said.

Once the tournament starts Thursday morning, the goal is still to shoot the lowest score. That hasn't changed."

To read the complete article, please go to

Good luck and make it a great day!

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