Earlier this week I complained that not enough of the top tour pros are playing at this week’s stop on the PGA Tour, in New Orleans — while praising Phil Mickelson and David Toms for coming. But this story gives me the warm fuzzies all over — in a very good way. Mickelson, Toms, and New Orleans-native tour pro Kelly Gibson are doing great things for post-Katrina charity, and I salute them. Mickelson’s quotes are just fantastic. He just went way up in my estimation. Meanwhile, a nod to Kelly, whom I know (only slightly, but enough so that he recognizes me, unprompted — this has happened more than once — in a small, random crowd of fans if I attend a tourney he’s playing in) and whom I played against (sort of: I was the fifth seed on my school’s team; he was the top seed on his school’s team, and one of the best golfers in the state, so we only actually played one round in the same group, and that was by mistake) in high school. Kelly Gibson always has been one of the world’s “good guys,” and he is quite popular on tour, I hear. His good friend Tommy Moore, a fellow New Orleanian and onetime tour pro and also onetime teenage golf wunderkind, died several years ago of one of those heinous blood cancers whose names I can never pronounce — and word was, from several people who were at Moore’s funeral, that Kelly’s euology (I hope I’m remembering this right) was one of the most eloquent, moving, and appropriate that the folks who relayed this to me had ever heard. Anyway, Gibson, Toms and Mickelson in this article show again why pro golfers, to a greater degree than pro athletes in any other sport, are so often seen as class acts. The truth is that while their efforts for Katrina relief, as told in this story, are extraordinary, the high level of personal involvement of most tour pros with charitable endeavors year-round is, well, par for the course. A tip of the hat to all of them.
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