October 31, 2007

Fires won't stop golf tournament

Barona Creek ready for Tour Championship after scare

San Diego wildfires crept close to site of Nationwide season finaleThe scent hovering everywhere provided the only giveaway to the chaotic scene that defined this southern California area less than a week ago. Barona and its environs smelled faintly of a fireplace with the unmistakable essence of lingering smoke.

That was understandable considering the plethora of destructive wildfires that raged throughout San Diego County and southern California last week. Conditions were so extreme the PGA TOUR considered postponing or moving the Nationwide Tour's most prestigious event that begins Thursday and will feature 56 players in the 72-hole, no-cut event that offers the largest first-place check in history, $139,500.

The decision was made to stage the tournament late last week after consultation with various San Diego city and county officials. The area got a major break when the Santa Ana winds that fueled the infernos quelled and firefighters were able to get the fires under control.

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