Collapsed Bridge Strong Hearts
In town for the Champions Tours 3M Championship, I found myself, like so many other people, just plain lucky. My timing was lucky, plain and simple. Sadly, very sadly, other people were not so lucky. At the time I write this column, the known death toll from the Minneapolis bridge collapse is at least seven.
In the days that followed, I had a chance to talk to some people about the disaster.
John Harris is a life long Minnesotan. He was born in Minneapolis, went to the University of Minnesota and resides in Edina, Minnesota. I asked John for his thoughts.
It was a real sober and somber moment for Minnesota, said John Harris. But tragedies like that happen. I think the people of Minnesota will rally together and bond together and theyll make it through this. Its a tough group here. Weve got a lot of quality people here and I hope that we learn from this and that it doesnt happen again.
I asked John if he was proud of the way the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota were coming together and working together during this disaster.
John replied, The people are tough here and they have a lot of local pride and it doesnt surprise me at all that they come together like they do.
Asked how big of a distraction the bridge collapse was for him in terms of being prepared to compete in the 3M Championship, John said, Well, I dont think its going to be a distraction. I think that everyone will take a step back and reflect and realize that golf really isnt that important when it comes to life overall and these are the kinds of things that remind us that we play a game and we entertain and we still try and do the best we can. But in the big scheme its not very important.
Curtis Strange has been at the epicenter of professional golf since 1979 when he won his first PGA TOUR event, the Pensacola Open. Back to back U.S. Opens in 1988 and 1989 solidified him in the upper strata of professional golf. In Curtis mind, charity is the real star.
I think it goes without saying that one of the main reasons, if not the main reason that we have all of these events on the regular TOUR and on the Champions Tour is to help out the communities and support some of the charitable organizations that are involved with the events, Curtis said. And certainly, this was a terrible tragedy. We were all concerned for volunteers going over that bridge two and three and four times a day and players going over that bridge twice a day and thank goodness nobody directly involved with the tournament was involved. But, unfortunately there were people on that bridge. We as a group are responsible to help those people and victims. So were doing that. I hope we raise a ton of money and the people affected by the bridge collapse are certainly in our thoughts and prayers.
Tom Watson teed it up in the 3M Championship coming off his victory in the Senior British Open the week prior. Like Curtis Strange, Watson was optimistic about the funds the Champions Tour will raise for charities that can directly impact the Interstate 35W bridge collapse.
One of the things that we can do is we can ply our trade and raise funds for charity very easily, Tom Watson said. And thats been the history of the professional golf tours. You can probably take everybody who plays professional golf in one way or another ' they have their own charity benefit or some players have several charity benefits ' and they raise money through their playing of the game and the notoriety to raise funds for the things that are needed to help out.
One of the really neat things about the 3M Championship played at the TPC Twin Cities golf course is that the tournament attracts the Post-It Greats of Golf. It is a team exhibition event within the event itself that features some of the greatest players the game has ever known. Arnold Palmer was front and center. His army of fans cheering him on with every shot. I asked Mr. Palmer for his thoughts on the bridge collapse.
Thats a pretty tough thing right now, Mr. Palmer said. I think everybody feels very badly about what happened and certainly those things dont normally happen to us but every once in a while it unfortunately does happen. We just hope that the people who were involved who survived it are doing well and are able to meet the crisis.
Arnold Palmer is often credited with starting, or at the very least being the main catalyst, that successfully launched the Champions Tour. I asked him if was pleased with the way the Champions Tour responds to tragedies like the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
The whole thing, this Champions Tour, is about raising money for charities and also allowing these players to play some golf beyond their regular PGA TOUR careers, Mr. Palmer said. And this tour has worked quite well. I think the charities are doing very well and as you know I am particularly interested in Prostate Cancer and of course just about any type of cancer we can help with were doing everything we can to help. And when golf is the thing that makes it move along were very happy for that, too.
I asked Mr. Palmer if he had a few words of encouragement for the people involved in the disaster. He said, Well, I just want to wish all the people that were so unfortunate to experience what they have here this week my best and I hope they can survive it.
It was a dream like week for Mitch Adams. The 50-year old from Cary, North Carolina was a Monday qualifier and he made the best of his opportunity by finishing in a tie for third place. Mitch fought through tears as I asked him for his thoughts.
Absolutely. Absolutely, Mitch said. The whole week has been just an incredible week. With that tragedy and then the way the fans showed up for this eventits just been incredible.
3M is headquartered in neighboring St. Paul, Minnesota. They have been involved with the Minneapolis area Champions Tour event for many years. Recognized as one of the Champions Tours most successful tournaments from the standpoint of charitable endeavors, the tournament has donated over $12 million to charity since 1993. For 2007, 3M had earmarked $1.3 million to go to Allina's United Hospital and Mercy & Unity Hospitals. This was prior to the Minneapolis Interstate 35W bridge collapse. In consideration of the tragedy, 3M pledged even more money would be raised.
I suggested to Bob MacDonald, Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing for 3M that the week had two distinct sides: the nightmare side and the silver lining in the cloud side. He agreed.
It turned out to be a good week for us out here on the course but our hearts go out to those people that were touched by the disaster, said Mr. MacDonald. And this is a very philanthropic tournament. Its our fifteenth year and this year we had decided to give money to three hospitals and two of them had chosen to use the money for emergency services. So, that was fantastic. The disaster was a horrible tragedy but we hope the money we have been able to raise along with this great Champions Tour and these great players will in some small way ease some of the pain.
Fate dealt a mind numbing hand last Wednesday night in Minneapolis. As for me, it could have been a very close call. I finished my work at the tournament site at about 5:30 pm on Wednesday. Minneapolis is home to one of my favorite steak houses. I remember driving out of the parking lot and trying to decide if I should drive directly in to Minneapolis for dinner or if I should go back to my hotel first and shower up. A right turn would take me towards downtown and across the Interstate 35W bridge. A left would take me towards the suburbs and my hotel. I took the left and went back to my hotel. When I got in my room I turned on the television and I saw the horror of the bridge collapse. Needless to say I didnt go in to town for a steak that night.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of lost and missing persons and also with the fine people of the city of Minneapolis.
Email your thoughts to Casey Bierer
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.
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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.
Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.
Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.
After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.
“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”
Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).
It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)
Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)
8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.
How to watch The Open on TV and online
You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.
Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie
In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.
Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:
(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)
Monday, July 16
GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)
GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Tuesday, July 17
GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Wednesday, July 18
GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Thursday, July 19
GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)
GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Friday, July 20
GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Saturday, July 21
GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Sunday, July 22
GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)