PGA Tour Resumes Near Crash Site


Even as golf resumes this Thursday, players and fans cannot escape the grim horror of what transpired on September 11.
The PGA Tour heads to Pennsylvania for the second annual Marconi Pennsylvania Classic in Ligonier ' 30 miles from where the fourth of four hijacked airlines crashed in Shankesville.
Chris DiMarco collected his maiden tour title at the inaugural event in 2001. DiMarco shot a third-round 66 to take a three-shot lead into Sunday, and then fired a final-round 69 to win by six strokes over five players.
You get respect from certain guys out here, and until you win I dont think you get the utmost respect from the topnotch players, said DiMarco following his victory.
This years tournament was supposed to be the final one played before the United States trekked to England in defense of the Ryder Cup. However, it was announced last Sunday that the Matches would be postponed until September 2002.
The decision was another in a long list of alternate routes taken by the sports world in the wake of last Tuesdays attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
The PGA Tour canceled all four of its tournaments last week, including the WGC-American Express Championship to be held in St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Classic.
It was the first time since the 1949 Colonial ' when heavy rains forced cancellation ' that players had been sent home without hitting a single shot.
This weeks purse is $3.3 million, with $594,000 going to the winner.
Last year, the PGA Tour made the trip to the Keystone State for the first time since the 1980 IVB Philadelphia Classic.
And its no coincidence that this is Arnold Palmers home state.
Palmer made a phone call four years ago to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and suggested a return to Pennsylvania.
I was basically dealing with a guy I cant say no to, Finchem said last year.
Its also no coincidence that the tournament is contested outside of Pittsburgh at the Laurel Valley Country Club, where Palmer is a board member.
Palmer, who was born in nearby Latrobe, is in this weeks field, as are John Cook, John Daly, Scott Hoch, Lee Janzen, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Price and Vijay Singh.
While Hoch was originally the only Ryder Cup participant scheduled to compete this week, six other players were granted conditional entries on Monday.
Ryder Cuppers for 2002 Paul Azinger, Mark Calcavecchia, Jim Furyk, Scott Verplank, Stewart Cink and U.S. captain Curtis Strange will now be playing in Pennsylvania in lieu of the tragic incidents from which have changed the course of the season.
Full field and tee times for the Marconi Pennsylvania Classic