Wuerffel tourney meets its purpose


Published: Friday, October 26, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 26, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — A year ago, it was a new event suffering from the pains that come with staging something for the first time.

This time around, even a hurricane couldn’t stop Danny Wuerffel’s golf tournament from being a success.

Despite the winds that pounded TPC Sawgrass from Hurricane Sandy, Wuerffel’s tournament to benefit Desire Street Ministries went off without any problems. More importantly.

“The conditions were brutal,” said former UF golfer Billy Horschel, a member of the PGA Tour.

There were plenty of celebrities in the event as golfers from both sides of the Florida-Georgia rivalry played four-man matches in a Ryder Cup-style format.

Wuerffel said the amount of money raised this year would be somewhere between $125,000 and $150,000.

“We had a lot of expenses last year, just getting started,” he said. “This year is going to raise a lot more money. We didn’t have a silent auction last year.”

All of the money raised from this year’s tournament will go toward building a multi-purpose facility in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, where Desire Street started. The building is still being designed but an artist’s rendition was on display during the post-golf luncheon.

Among the celebrities was Herschel Walker, who certainly made his mark on the Florida-Georgia rivalry. The former Heisman Trophy winner broke his right hand during a recent Mixed Martial Arts match and — as a result — started playing left-handed a few weeks ago.

“He said he’s only played left-handed five or six times, but for someone who doesn’t play much and doesn’t play left-handed, he hit it really good,” said Horschel. “It was pretty amazing.”

Wuerffel said he reached out to Walker and was impressed with his cooperation, especially at the banquet Thursday night.

“I was trying to get the biggest celebrities from each school,” Wuerffel said. “Not only did he come but the way he interacted with people, the accessibility. He was as class an act as you can ask for.”

Walker told stories at the banquet as he was interviewed by former Gator great Chris Doering.

“He was gregarious and hilarious,” Doering said. “A really good guy.”

Walker left the course after his round and was not available for interviews because he had a flight to catch.

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