The Loop

Bridge disaster in Minneapolis touches close to home

August 02, 2007

From Ron Sirak at St. Andrews

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Ty Votaw was on his BlackBerry all morning here at St. Andrews trying to verify the safety of all the Champions Tour players in the Minneapolis area and make certain none were involved in the bridge collapse. Shortly before his wife, Sophie Gustafson teed off at 1:10 P.M. for the first round of the Ricoh Women's British Open, he got word that all of the Champions Tour members had been accounted for.

And this from Ron Whitten

I happened to talk to Jerry Pate this morning, who is in Minneapolis for the Champions Tour event and drove over the I-35W bridge to get to the TPC course. He and about 20 other players stay at a downtown hotel. He was at the course yesterday, finished the round late, around 5 p.m., was supposed to drive back to the hotel, shower, pick up his wife Soozi and head back for a dinner at the club. Instead, he called Suzi, asked her to bring a change of clothes.  She did so, caught a ride with Scott Hoch, his wife Sally and Donnie Hammond. Their drive started out on I-35, but because of rush hour traffic, decided on an alternate route that took them out of the way (but at that time of day, ultimately a quicker drive) on a different bridge. When they arrived at the club, they heard about the bridge collapse.

I'm not sure whether it had already collapsed before they left the hotel, or just what the timing was. But obviously the group felt they came close to being involved in the disaster.