2 local golfers compete at Houston Open after coming together for Harvey relief
HOUSTON – They're both professional golfers and they also both happen to be playing in the Houston Open.
But what sets Chris Stroud and Bobby Gates apart for the rest of the field is that they are also both locals.
"When you walk out on the first teeing off in your hometown, it's pretty awesome," Gates said.
"Growing up from this area -- I grew up two hours from here -- the Houston Open has always been the biggest golf event," Stroud said.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and the surrounding areas, just like many of us, for them it was personal.
"I was home that week and I couldn't believe after the third, fourth and fifth day of rain, I was like, 'It's still coming down,'" Gates said.
"Everybody in this entire area in Southeast Texas and over into Louisiana just completely devastated," said Stroud.
And it was that sheer devastation across the area that motivated the pair to come together and help in the recovery process.
"As a golfer, I'm good at golf. Not a community planner or organizer. So I said, 'Let's see if we can rally some friends and see if we can raise some money,'" Gates said.
With the help of several friends and fellow professional players, in less than three months, they put together the Hurricane Harvey Relief Pro-Am Golf Tournament.
The goal was to raise $1 million for recovery efforts.
"I'm just happy with all of our hard work and people donating their time and money, we're able to give back to our area where people need it the most," Stroud said.
Not only did they reach their goal, they exceeded it and are already giving that money back to the community.
Golf may be an individual sport, but out of tragedy comes this unique teamwork that's making a difference at every turn.
"When we were able to actually go hand the checks and see the homes that were six months later just started to get rebuilt, seeing the tears come down their faces was worth it all," Gates said.
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