Some fractured Friday thoughts on a week that has been dominated by news of the swine flu outbreak that caused both the Canadian Tour and Nationwide Tour to postpone events in Mexico, believed to be the country of origin for the virus.
Mexico is urging its citizens to stay home, while shutting down non-essential government services in an effort to contain an outbreak that could be on the verge of being a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, Canadian Tour commissioner Rick Janes reported that the exodus of players and officials from San Luis Potosi, where this week’s tournament was to be played, was running smoothly and everybody was expected to be outside of Mexico by today at the latest.
Most of the players flew out of San Luis Potosi, according to Janes, who added that the tour provided a bus for those who couldn’t catch a flight. It’s about a five-hour drive to Mexico City and most people were expected to leave from there.
With three tournaments in Mexico now postponed, Janes was still expecting them to be played in late September and early October. That means juggling the tour’s half hour highlights package/magazine show, Chasing the Dream, which airs on The Golf Channel usually at 6:30 p.m. EST, right before Golf Central.
Sharp feels fine
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp says she feels fine after playing in the Corona Championship, which ended Sunday in Morelia, Mexico.
Yesterday, Sharp said she has been working out since arriving home to the Phoenix area and still plans to attend LPGA Tour meetings this weekend and play in the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, Va., next week.
Sharp, who tied for 26th in Morelia, says she did notice a dramatic change in Morelia from the time she arrived the Monday before the tournament began to the time she departed.
“Towards the end of the week, people were wearing masks and my mom called me on Friday and told me about this swine flu,” said Sharp, saying she couldn’t find too much information about the virus on the internet. It was becoming clear that something was wrong, however.
“Friday night, I went out to downtown Morelia with some friends for dinner. That’s when I saw people wearing masks,” said Sharp, adding that servers also had their mouths covered when she went out for dinner on Sunday evening.
Sharp is taking a calm approach to the situation, adding that she will simply go to the doctor if she starts to experience any symptoms, adding that she feels lucky to have good health care at her disposal.
G&G Continues with Promotion
Touring pros might not be the only people in the Canadian golf industry who are affected by swine flu.
Cori German of Vancouver-based G&G Golf is keeping a close eye on the situation, especially with her company currently running a promotion in which customers can win a trip to Mexico next January.
German says the subject has been discussed seriously in recent company meetings, but adds that it’s too early to react just yet. However, plans could change if this threat continues for a long period of time.
“Some of the people said, `I think we need to cancel it, so we can find another place to go,’ but my first reaction was we’re still nine, 10 months away from that,” said German.
“In a situation like this, how long does it last as far as the fly and the pandemic? We’re just going to have to monitor the situation, so at this point, there’s no decision made,” said German, who said she can wait until September before making reservations for the contest winner.
Nancy Lopez in Toronto
LPGA Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez will be in the Toronto area next week, with appearances set for Golf Town outlets in Kitchener on Monday and Etobicoke on Tuesday.
Nancy Lopez Golf is a division of Tournament Sports, based in Waterloo, Ont., and has recently launched a partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society that will see a portion of proceeds from the sale of select products support breast cancer research.
“With a difficult economy, charitable contributions are in decline,” said Tournament Sports president Kim Bauer, who survived a battle with cancer himself a few years ago.
“We felt that this initiative supporting breast cancer research was ideal for Nancy Lopez Golf given our unique positioning as a women’s-only golf equipment and apparel company.
“As a cancer survivor, I have a special appreciation for the physical and emotional toll that this dreadful disease takes,” said Bauer.
Lady Precept golf balls, which are also distributed in Canada by Tournament Sports, will have a similar partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society.