ADT Championship is on
The year-ending LPGA event will go next week in spite of Hurricane Wilma passing through South Florida less than a month ago. Since I was planning to attend the event, I had been curious about this since the storm. Yesterday's Palm Beach Post confirmed the course will be ready for the 30 best women golfers.
One gripe- The article's headline and last sentence refer to this tournament as the LPGA Championsip. Its the LPGA's tour championship, there is another event called the LPGA Championship.
Open Post- Basil's Blog
Hurricane Wilma created delays and scheduling problems throughout South Florida, but it couldn't slow the LPGA's ADT Championship.
Trump International Golf Club staff and tournament organizers expect the tournament to go on as planned Nov. 17-20, thanks to a speedy cleanup after the Oct. 24 hurricane.
"For sure, it's been a Herculean clean up effort," said Kevin Krisle, assistant tournament director.
Wilma knocked down more than 200 trees and blew sand out of many of the bunkers on the front nine, but the 6,500-yard, Jim Fazio-designed course and other facilities will be ready for players and fans when the tournament begins Nov. 15.
Most of the damage, such as fallen trees, was handled within six days. Now, the staff is beautifying the course, said John Nieporte, Trump International's head professional. He said the course "looks phenomenal considering that a hurricane came through."
Cleanup for the clubhouse and other tournament services are on schedule. Television crews will begin setting up this week.
"You really won't see a change as far as the setup for tournament week," Krisle said. "If the hurricane hit a week later, it would have been a different story. None of the areas that we use for any of our locations were damaged by the hurricane."
Within 48 hours, organizers were confident the course would be in tournament condition in time as long as power returned.Soon after the storm, owner Donald Trump, who checked in daily, arranged for a generator to be sent from North Carolina to power the course's sprinklers.
Three days after the generator arrived, power was restored to the course.
"The hardest part was waiting for power," Krisle said. "Once we had that, we were really able to move forward."
Compared to last year, Trump International had half the time to prepare for the tournament after the hurricanes but more hands to help. Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne hit in September while the course was closed and some employees were out of the area.
"The major difference was there wasn't as much rain that we had to deal with," said Andy Kjos, the course superintendent. "(This year), we lost big trees that we didn't last year."
Kjos had time last year to replace some of the landscaping. This year, it will wait until after the tournament. However, other than some aesthetics, players and fans won't notice a difference from last year's to this year's LPGA championship.