LPGA: Madelene Sgstrom and Ally Ewing hope the CME Group Tour Championship will bring a sense of normalcy to communities after Hurricane Ian

Nov, 2022

NAPLES (Fla.) — It could have been the concrete piles that were washed away during the strong storm surge and now stand on the side of the road.

Oder the huge mounds and piles of debris made mostly of downed trees or limbs that block the view from the street to the condos on the beachfront.

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Oder those tall condos that overlook the Gulf of Mexico. These are still abandoned and their residents have been replaced by heavy equipment and construction crews working to make them livable again.

Madelene Sagstrom is a homeowner in Orlando who witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian.

She said, “All the destruction.” It’s amazing how small it can be. It’s like being out there and not realizing anything.

Sagstrom is one of 60 women in the field for the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club. This event will conclude the LPGA Tour season, which begins Thursday. Tiburon is located approximately four miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and 42 miles from where Hurricane Ian made landfall with 150 mph winds seven week ago.

Madelene Sagstrom makes a putt on the 11th Green during the opening round of the 2022 LPGA Cognizant Founders’ Cup in Clifton (Photo by Seth Wenig/Associated Press).

Tiburon has 36 holes. The Gold Course is where this week’s event takes place. There was little damage other than the uprooting of 350-400 trees and some flooding.

The Gold Course was reopened just four days after Ian arrived. Crews worked hard to replant and remove trees and turf. The work began on the cleanup of areas outside of play.

This work ensured that the LPGA’s event would proceed as planned.

Brooke Henderson, No. 6, said that “it was very devastating what happened here” and that it’s nice for everything to rebuild and get back to normal. 6. “Hopefully, we can continue to heal and just grow stronger after all of this.”

Brooke Henderson hit the 13th Tee during the final round at the 2022 ShopRite LPGA Classic, Galloway (New Jersey). (Photo: Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Henderson was born in Canada and now resides in Naples. Her home was spared the destruction of Hurricane Irene.

Kevin DeDonato, general manager of Tiburon, was relieved to see the damage the storm had caused. Irma, which struck in September 2017, toppled approximately 1,000 trees.

DeDonato stated, “I kinda knew what to expect.” “The Irma damage… 400 caused was devastating, but it was almost a relief.

“What was unique about this one was its length. It took 12 hours to experience hurricane winds. It felt like it would never end.

Tiburon’s challenge was to finish the course before the week ended.

DeDonato stated, “As you get closer, it’s more detail stuff outside of play,”. “After opening the course, we spent two weeks cleaning up. This takes us out of the process of prepping for all the details.

All the work now falls to the top women golfers around the world to determine their season-ending champion. This is much to Mollie Marcoux’s delight and relief.

Marcoux was assured that the course would survive the storm and she began to plan how to assist any other affected people.

Florida was hit with approximately $40 billion worth of property damage by Ian, and Collier County suffered about $2 billion.

Marcoux, who resides in Orlando, said that “we were really looking to find ways to help this particular area.” “And we will continue to support these efforts.”

The tour donated $10 to the Collier Relief Fund with every purchase of a limited edition CME Group or LPGA Florida T-shirt.

Part of the enjoyment for golfers will be to see those whose lives have been rearranged two months ago enjoying a few normal days on the course.

Ally Ewing said, “It’s tragic to think about people who have been forced from their homes.” “We can hopefully provide some happiness for them for a few more days.”

Sagstrom, a Swede believes that this weekend shows how sports can be used to help in times of distress.

She said, “Coming back into some sort of normalcy and getting the community back together, and going to play some golf, I think people would like that.” I know that people have suffered a lot. It’s just like what COVID did with sports, it brought people together. We hope that’s what we do.”


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