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LSU's Burns on Baton Rouge damage: 'It's really bad'

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BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Sam Burns’ college town will look decidedly different when he returns next week for the start of his sophomore year.

Baton Rouge, La., has been hammered by more than 20 inches of rain since last week, causing tens of thousands to abandon their homes and killing nearly a dozen people. 

“It’s been really bad,” Burns said Tuesday after qualifying for the match-play portion of the U.S. Amateur (68-71).

The 20-year-old said that three of his friends had more than 3 feet of water in their house, up to the third or fourth stair. One of those buddies, who plays collegiately at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, drove around town in his boat to rescue people from their homes. Legendary play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne was missing for a day before he was eventually rescued. 

Burns, whose family lives about 3 ½ hours away in Shreveport, was in Baton Rouge early last week to move into his new apartment, which has not sustained any damage over the past few days. He said his girlfriend was volunteering around town Tuesday. 

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“Obviously you think about your friends and family and what they’re going through,” he said. “It’s hard to put yourself in that place if you’ve never experienced anything like it.”

Burns is one of three LSU players in the field this week at Oakland Hills, along with Brandon Pierce and Luis Gagne.

The semester is scheduled to begin Monday, but Burns said right now that the start date is “up in the air” as the city is still days away from trying to rebuild. 

“Lots of folks struggling,” LSU coach Chuck Winstead said in a text, “but all good on our end.”