BRIDGEPORT, W.V. – This week's Nationwide Tour Players Cup is considered to be one of the more prestigious events on the Nationwide Tour, but the tone is understandably subdued this week.
Chris Smith, one of the most popular players amongst his peers, obviously isn't here this week, but 126 of the 144 players in the field ensured that while he's physically absent, he's here in spirit.
The Nationwide Tour officials gave players the option to wear his name on their caddy bibs and with the exception of the few young guys who don't know him, everybody showed their support for Chris and honored the memory of his late wife Beth by wearing the bibs. Also, the number 15 was everywhere. It's Chris' favorite number and comes from his insistence that golfers are athletes, but athletes wear numbers – so he chose 15.
Chris has always been one of the most devoted family men on tour and has 15 tattooed on his back with his kids names inscribed within the numbers. His children were seriously injured in the auto accident that claimed his wife's life and everybody here in has Chris, Abigail, and Cameron on their minds.
The outpouring of support isn't unprecedented out here; it simply exhibits what a family does in times of crisis. And while the Smith family endures this unthinkable time in their lives, their Nationwide Tour family will be there for them every step of the way.