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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


PGA postpones tournaments

World Golf Championships canceled

ST. LOUIS -- The PGA Tour canceled Thursday's starts of the World Golf Championship and two other tournaments because of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.\nCommissioner Tim Finchem said the American Express Championship, featuring Tiger Woods and top players from tours around the world, would begin Friday with 36 holes.\nThe Tampa Bay Classic will open with 18 holes on Friday and Saturday and a 36-hole conclusion. The same schedule has been applied to the Tour event in Oregon.\nThe Senior Tour will remain on schedule, with a 54-hole event that starts Friday in North Carolina. The LPGA, which is in Oregon this week, said all of its players have been located but no decision has been made about the Safeway Classic.\nAlso, the U.S. Golf Association said it would confer with the quarterfinalists in its U.S. Senior Amateur in St. Louis and U.S. Senior Women's Amateur in Pittsburgh to see what they want to do.\nSectional qualifying rounds for the U.S. Mid-Amateur were postponed until next week in Bedford, N.Y. and Scotch Plains, N.J.\nAll of the schedules are subject to change.\n"We will continue to monitor this situation and make any further adjustments to our tournament schedules that appear to be appropriate or necessary," Finchem said.\nWith air traffic shut across the country, several players were unable to get to St. Louis for the American Express Championship. Among those stranded were PGA champion David Toms, Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III.\n"That's one of the major issues," said Michael Bodney, senior vice president on international affairs for the PGA Tour. "If you don't have a field here, it's difficult to play an event."\nHe said several stranded players are changing their plans. If federal authorities keep air traffic closed, he said some players might try to drive to St. Louis.\nWoods arrived Monday to conduct a clinic for American Express, with which he has a major endorsement contract. He expressed concern about several company officials who flew back to New York on Monday night after the clinic.\n"This is a sad, sad day in America," Woods said after playing a practice round, which he began about two hours before the initial attack on the World Trade Center.\n"Obviously, they are in chaos," Bodney said of American Express officials who have headquarters near the bottom of the Twin Tower.\nWhether the tour cancels its tournaments would depend largely on the response from President Bush.\n"He is obviously going to direct us, as a nation, to understand and how best to react to all of this," Bodney said. "All of those things are part of what we will be taking into consideration."\nErnie Els of South Africa was also dumbstruck at the chain of events.\n"I don't understand how these guys can even hit balls," he said, pointing toward the practice range. "I can't even think about golf right now. No way. I'm sick."\nThe gallery was relatively small, and those who came to Bellerive Country Club passed along information about the attacks.\nThe American Express Championship is the first significant golf tournament played in St. Louis in nine years, dating to the PGA Championship won by Nick Price.\n"I didn't feel like I was in the mood to sign autographs today," Stuart Appleby said.

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