Two Trips for Tomasulo
October 8, 2010
By Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—Peter Tomasulo made two trips to the Erlanger Medical Center. One was voluntary and the other he’d just as soon forget.
The 28-year old Californian was one of four Nationwide Tour players to visit the T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital during the afternoon. Tomasulo, Joe Affrunti, Rob Oppenheim and Keegan Bradley took time away from this week’s Chattanooga Classic presented by Black Creek preparations to spend some time with several young patients.
“That was a good experience. I’ve never gone to a children’s hospital like that,” Tomasulo said. “It was pretty touching to see the kids and give them some hats and try to make them smile for a little bit. I know they’re going through tough stuff, especially the first kid we saw who is a leukemia patient.”
The four players spent about 90 minutes with the kids, walking from room to room and meeting the children.
“The first kid was really shy and was hiding behind his mom the whole time,” said Tomasulo. “It was a very cool experience for me and something I’d want to do again.”
About five hours later, Tomasulo suffered a broken bone in his foot while playing in a pick-up basketball game at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga McKenzie Arena and wound up right back at the same hospital.
“Kind of ironic, isn’t it?” he said. “I wound up driving myself back there because it was close to where we were.”
This year’s winner of the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic was playing in an informal “East vs. West” basketball game with some of his fellow Tour players when he went to retrieve a ball that had gone out of bounds. Tomasulo stepped awkwardly off the slightly elevated basketball court and felt his right foot and ankle twist.
“I was heavily involved (in the game) from the get-go. It’s been something we’ve been looking forward to and joking about all year,” he said. “It was a fun game until I tweaked my ankle a little bit. It wasn’t even during a play; it was just a little clumsy action that I have. It was just me being clumsy.”
When his right foot started to swell a little, the former University of California Golden Bear figured he should have it checked out.
Doctors put his right foot in a splint and handed him some crutches. He withdrew from this week’s event, the 26th of 29 on the 2010 schedule and headed home Wednesday afternoon to Long Beach, Calif., where he will determine how much of his remaining season can be salvaged.
“I’m going to see my doctor,” he said while waiting to board a plane. “It’s the first broken bone I’ve had in my life. My mom told me I broke my thumb in tee-ball, but that doesn’t count.”
What does count is the money that Tomasulo has accumulated this season. He earned his second career win in July and entered the week with 12 cuts made in his last 13 starts. He is No. 13 on the money list, with $220,712, and was slated to play in next week’s Miccosukee Championship near Miami and the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open in Northeast Florida the following week. Tomasulo planned on closing out a successful campaign at the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island, S.C. on Halloween.
The 25 leading money winners at the end of the year will earn their 2011 PGA TOUR cards, and Tomasulo’s total should be enough to put him into one of those 25 spots. But he’ll drop in the standings with each passing week.
“It could have come a month ago, that would have been worse,” he said. “Hopefully I’ve made enough money to lock up my card. But freakier things have happened.”
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