Chris Stroud enters the Dell Technologies Championship sitting 78th in the FedEx Cup standings. Only top 70 players after this week will advance to the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the BMW Championship.
But as his season hangs in the balance, Stroud is finding it difficult to focus completely on golf. And understandably so.
As he sat in the press center Wednesday at TPC Boston, Stroud’s heart and mind was mostly back home in Spring, Texas, about 20 miles north of downtown Houston. Stroud’s family – wife, Tiffany, and their two daughters, Halle and Harper – rode out Hurricane Harvey in the family’s house.
Stroud had tried to fly home Sunday night after missing the cut at The Northern Trust, but could not get a flight to Houston. So he stayed in the Northeast while his neighborhood experienced lightning, flooding and even a tornado that damaged some homes in Stroud’s neighborhood.
“It was scary for me to just sit here,” Stroud said. “My heart is somewhere else and I’m supposed to be getting prepared for golf. It’s just, you know, it makes you realize what’s most important in your life is your family and friends.”
Stroud said his neighborhood has received about 40 inches of rain, but that his home, which is “built like a fortress,” experienced no problems. Others in his neighborhood weren’t as lucky.
Stroud’s home has since been converted into an impromptu shelter. Stroud said about 25 people, mostly friends but some family, spent the night at his home on Tuesday evening.
“Luckily we haven’t lost power,” Stroud said. “I’ve got three refrigerators, tons of food. It’s kind of a hosting house, anyway, so it’s been good for them to have a place to come to no matter what.”
Stroud’s truck has also been used by his friends to help rescue neighbors from their flooded homes.
“Apparently everybody in my neighborhood got together that had homes that weren’t damaged, and there were some people that had to get saved by boats yesterday in my neighborhood right down the road,” Stroud said. “All my buddies in the neighborhood were using my truck. I just happened to have a show truck type thing. It’s jacked up about 4 feet in the air. It can go in about 5 feet of water, so they were using my truck to get around the neighborhood to go help people and pets and just everything.”
Stroud, who wore a Houston Astros hat to his press conference Wednesday, is also currently battling double-ear and chest infections. But he’s not worried about his health right now. His concern is for Houston.
After hearing that Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt has raised more than $5 million for Harvey relief efforts, Stroud decided to donate $10,000 and also 10 percent of his winnings this week at TPC Boston. The PGA Tour, with help from Dell Technologies, also pledged $250,000.
Stroud said he also plans to get with fellow Houston-based Tour players like Patrick Reed and Jhonattan Vegas at a later date to plan some sort of pro-am fundraiser.
“I want to do whatever I can,” Stroud said. “I think the PGA Tour is going to set up a link. I’m going to put it on my Twitter page, and whoever wants to donate anything from 50 cents to whatever, that’s what they are going to do and hopefully we can help in some way from afar.”