SAN ANTONIO – The PGA Tour is often compared to a big traveling circus, but what in the name of the Alamo were Jason Gore and Pat Perez doing making cotton candy at last week’s Texas Valero Open?
Short answer: The players were pitching in at an awards ceremony May 12 at TPC San Antonio recognizing the best essays and short-story writing contest.
It was part of the PGA Tour Wives Association’s Operation Literacy, a three-week effort that began at The Players Championship and concludes this week with a book drive at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
More than 3,000 students from 25 area middle schools submitted an essay on a topic of their choice. Athena Perez, wife of Pat, was one of several player wives who read them all and helped whittle them down to 250 for judging. Three finalists from each participating school were invited to the awards ceremony.
Tour veteran Tim Petrovic read aloud the winning essay on the Amazon rainforest.
Attendees enjoyed more than just cotton candy, courtesy of the Tour’s carnies. Tom Pernice Jr. and Zach Johnson dished out snow cones, and Troy Matteson handed out bags of popcorn in San Antonio.
“You asked us to get more involved,” Gore told commissioner Tim Finchem, who made an appearance. “This is player involvement.”