TRAGIC NEWS OUT OF WEST VIRGINIA since last Thursday, including the cancellation of the Greenbrier Classic, which is minor compared to the loss of life, homes and more.
Coincidentally, I was driving through West Virginia that Thursday when torrential rains devastated parts of the state. It was slow going, and dangerous -- I saw a car spin out in front of me and hit a concrete median -- but I had no idea there was catastrophic flooding until later. I drove on through Ohio and made it safely to Indianapolis that day.
The Greenbrier was hit especially hard. More from the Charleston Gazette-Mail:
"It's impossible to describe the devastation," [Jim] Justice said.
Flooding had engulfed the area. Lives were lost. Tragedy had struck. And, as an aside to the devastation, Justice’s baby, his joy, the Greenbrier Classic, a multi-million dollar PGA Tour event, was scratched.
"We started conversations late, late Thursday," said Andy Pazder, executive vice president and chief of operations of the PGA Tour. "We started seeing the images. Then, on Friday, we saw the devastation, not only to the golf course, but to the town. We made the decision Saturday."
It was tough for Pazder, who happens to be a 1988 graduate of West Virginia University. He knows the state. Also, he was in the early meetings to place a PGA event in the Mountain State back in 2009.
"It was hard to look at those images," Pazder said. "I've always had a special connection to West Virginia and the tournament."
The Classic overcame the winds of a derecho in 2012, but Justice said he knew immediately. There would be no event in 2016.