Golfers Rally for Hurricane Harvey Victims


The other is Lewis, who cannot approach Watt’s impact in sheer dollars but maxed out her personal pledge at the Portland Classic and brought others along with her. With one of her sponsors matching the $195,000 winner’s check, another contributing a flat $1 million and the L.P.G.A. earmarking ticket proceeds, her gesture has raised more than $1.4 million.

“One of the best feel-good stories I’ve seen in a long time,” said Judy Rankin, a Golf Channel analyst, a L.P.G.A. Hall of Famer and a longtime Texan.

Nor is Lewis alone among golfers — elite, developmental or even juniors — who have been working in various ways to help the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

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J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans defensive lineman whose hurricane relief fund has reached $27 million so far, loaded a car with relief supplies in Houston.

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Pool photo by Brett Coomer

“It’s just really sad,” said Chris Stroud, who lives in Houston and six weeks ago won his first P.G.A. Tour event after a decade on the tour.

Stroud’s home in the northern suburbs sits on higher ground and escaped largely unscathed. Not so for friends and fellow pros from the Houston area. Stroud said the home of Dawie van der Walt, who spent three seasons on the P.G.A. Tour and is now involved in the Web.com Tour playoffs, was devastated.

“He has four feet of water in his house,” Stroud said before the FedExCup’s second playoff event in Boston. “He texted me some pictures. It’s really sad.”

Stroud committed $10,000 and 10 percent of his earnings in Boston, although he missed the cut. Still, the P.G.A. Tour and the tournament sponsor Dell Technologies combined on a $250,000 pledge toward relief efforts. .

Several other P.G.A. Tour pros have pledged $1,000 for each birdie made for the remainder of the playoffs and $2,000 for every eagle. The Masters champion Sergio Garcia, newly married to a Texan, raised his donation to $2,000 per birdie and $5,000 per eagle.

On the Symetra Tour — the L.P.G.A.’s developmental circuit — Shannon Fish, an alumnus of the University of Texas, led an effort at the tour’s stop in Sioux Falls, S.D., that in the end raised more than $91,000.

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South Korea’s In Gee Chun pulled within one stroke with two holes to play before Stacy Lewis, right, won the Portland Classic.

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Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

And on the American Junior Golf Association, the nation’s top junior circuit, officials took up the Aug. 27 challenge of Turner Hosch of Texas to donate $10 per birdie made at the Junior Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The effort raised $13,720 for the American Red Cross. Even better, a Houston-area player won the event — Shuai Ming Wong, a Hong Kong native who prevailed in a three-man, three-hole playoff.

Wong told a tournament liaison he was not sure if he should make the trip to compete, but the A.J.G.A.’s $10-per-birdie pledge gave him an emotional lift. “It was motivating and inspired me to keep going and never give up,” he said.

But Lewis’ victory commanded golf’s headlines. She moved to The Woodlands, a suburb north of Houston, when she was 11, honing her game even as she battled severe scoliosis. Later an N.C.A.A. champion at Arkansas and the winner of two L.P.G.A. majors, she is married to Gerrod Chadwell, the University of Houston women’s golf coach.

Their home and her parents’ residence came out fine when the hurricane hit, but Chadwell spent part of a day kayaking to his team’s home base at the Golf Club of Houston to rescue his players’ clubs and other equipment. The team stayed in Dallas for a week while campus was closed.

“It’s a pretty helpless feeling,” Lewis told reporters in Portland. “It’s hard to see the pictures, to imagine being there and seeing all of that water.”

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Lewis, with her caddie Travis Wilson, had gone more than three years since her last L.P.G.A. victory.

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Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Pledging her week’s earnings, she said, was a way of reconciling her desire to return home and the tournament at hand.

“I wanted to be in Houston,” she said, “but I also wanted to play in Portland and I needed some focus to being there. I needed a reason to be playing so I would be giving it 100 percent. What better way than to donate whatever I made.”

Lewis had gone more than three years since her last L.P.G.A. victory. In 82 starts since, she had amassed a dozen runner-up finishes.

In Portland, In Gee Chun closed the gap to one stroke with two holes to play. But the Korean pro missed a chance to tie on the 71st hole, as Lewis made a clutch par save, and Lewis made her 11th consecutive par to secure the victory.

“It’s been crazy,” Lewis said after traveling to Indianapolis. “It’s been overwhelming at times — all the messages, all the support. I don’t know if I’ve fully processed actually finally winning the tournament itself.”

Perhaps it will all sink in when she finally returns home following the Evian Championship. Or there might be other priorities.

“We’re trying to figure out exactly who we’re going to partner with to get done what I want to get done,” said Lewis, who has expressed a desire to help rebuild homes. “We’re not done with this. I’m glad I have five weeks off after this to go home and really help some people.”

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