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PGA Tour to assess damaged TPC of Louisiana

An assessment of the course at the TPC of Louisiana will be made by agronomists for the PGA Tour, with an eye toward rebuilding the golf course in time for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans next April.

The decision was made at a meeting attended by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and high-ranking officials from the PGA Tour, Zurich and the Fore!Kids Foundation in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Approximately 40 percent of the course is still underwater after Hurricane Katrina, which struck southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29. The Category 4 storm also uprooted an estimated 1,000 trees on the 7,400-yard, par-72 layout designed by Pete Dye.

"It's our hope to get in there [this week] if we can," said Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. "We assured them that we are working hand-in-glove to do the best we can for the event in New Orleans."

Mike Rodrigue, chairman of the board for the Fore!Kids Foundation, said he remains hopeful that the TPC of Louisiana can be restored in time to host the tournament Apr. 27-30 as originally scheduled.

"It's too early to say exactly what they're going to do until they can assess the damage to the golf course, Rodrigue said. "We know we have water on holes 4, 5 and 6. But we don't have any major damage at TPC."

The tournament could be held as scheduled at the TPC of Louisiana. Or, it could be held close to New Orleans, perhaps at English Turn Golf & Country Club, which played host to the PGA Tour event from 1989 through 2004, or the David Toms-designed Carter Plantation in Springfield.


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