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Golfers concerned over Anthrax alert

Concerned by the wave of anthrax cases surfacing around the country, wary professional sports teams and leagues are warning players to handle mail with care, if they handle it at all.

And many athletes are being extra cautious about what once was a routine matter of answering correspondence from fans.

Each week, Tiger Woods gets stacks of mail sent either through the PGA Tour or to his agent's offices. They eventually work their way down to a business office he has in Orlando, Fla., and are now handled more carefully than ever.

"My assistant has definitely talked about using gloves," Woods said. "It is a danger right now, the way things are going. But it's one of those things where a lot of fans write in, and you have to answer."

Jackie Sutherland, the mailroom manager for the PGA Tour, said a couple of players have called and said they don't want their mail and to stamp it return to sender.

Effective Monday, mailroom workers began wearing surgical gloves. If mail has no return address and looks suspicious, Sutherland said he sends the worker out of the room, closes the door, shuts off the air conditioning and opens it himself or calls the head of PGA Tour security, Joe Corless, a retired FBI agent.

"We're really been watching Tiger's stuff lately, because he's the big dog," Sutherland said.

Davis Love III gets a postal bin full of mail every week.

"We just talked to our local postmaster and said that for things that we don't know where it comes from, we're going to stamp it refuse or return to sender," he said. "If I get a name I don't know that is not a bill, we're just going to send it back."


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