April 13 2012
By David McPherson, PGATOUR.COM contributor
The two May PGA TOUR stops in the Lone Star State were thankfully spared by Mother Nature’s recent wreckage in central Texas. Last week, 17 tornadoes touched down in a matter of minutes — leveling homes and causing millions of dollars of damage.
Neither Colonial Country Club, which hosts the Crowne Plaza Invitational presented by Colonial in Fort Worth, nor TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, home to the HP Byron Nelson Championship, received any significant damage. Superintendents at both clubs said they were lucky.
“All the bad storms were south and east of us, so thankfully, we really avoided it,” said Colonial’s Scott Ebers.
Rusty Wilson at TPC Four Seasons Resort said the pair of courses he oversees was not far from the eye of the storm, but Mother Nature took pity on them. The storm did not touch down on the tournament course and it caused minimal damage at Cottonwood Valley, the member’s course on the same property. The tornado skimmed the course taking off the tops of some trees and throwing around some debris from the strong winds.
“There was a little bit of clean up, but overall it was not too bad,” Wilson said. “We were really fortunate.”
Wilson and his crew watched the storm approach on their radar. Thanks to a sound emergency plan everyone took cover quickly to wait it out but the superintendent recalls anxious moments waiting to see if the tornado would touch down on their property.
“It showed up from nowhere,” Wilson said. “One of my guys told me we need to bring everyone in. I pulled up the radar and agreed. Then, the sky turned green. It got a little dicey there for a minute, but in all honesty, we were one mile from where it touched down and we didn’t even know it had happened until the next morning. It was pretty calm here. We should count our lucky stars.”