David Toms’ resume is extensive. For starters, 13 PGA Tour victories (including a major championship, the 2001 PGA), a long list of appearances in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups and a major title on the PGA Tour Champions (2018 U.S. Senior Open).
Off the course, the 2017 inductee in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame has raised millions of dollars to help the less fortunate through the David Toms Foundation.
Sunday, the 56-year-old Toms secured his third victory on the Tour’s 50-and-over circuit when he holed a 6-foot bogey putt on the final hole of the Cologuard Classic in Tucson, Arizona. The victory ended a three-year drought for the Shreveporter and former LSU star.
“It’s a monkey off my back,” said Toms, who edged Robert Karlsson by one stroke. “I’ve had a bunch of close calls. It’s been a while.”
As his post-victory interview carried on, Toms was overcome with emotion. It wasn’t so much the drought. It wasn’t the $330,000 first prize. It wasn’t the fortitude he showed after he hit his tee shot in the water on the final hole – just like he had done the first two times he played that hole during the event.
Toms was thinking of a couple of special guests he played for – one got a first-hand, inside-the-ropes view of the final-round. The other’s seat was even better.
Toms’ wore an “in memory” ribbon on his hat during the tournament in honor of the late Gloria Borges – the founder of WunderGlo Foundation who died at 32 from colon cancer in 2014. Gloria’s mother, Becky Borges, was an honorary observer Sunday and watched Toms up close.
“She was right there with me,” Toms said of Becky Borges.
Well, her daughter Gloria was, too.
In addition to showcasing a tournament stacked with golf’s prior generation of superstars, the tournament’s title sponsor, Cologuard, has a mission to use the event to garner awareness for early screening for colon cancer.
“It’s great to raise awareness,” Toms said. “We’re just here playing a game.”
It was obvious the emotion began to boil for Toms. Should we have expected anything else?
Giving has always been a passion for the Airline High product. For the better part of three decades, Toms has parlayed his success on the course to helping others. Sunday, he helped Gloria Borges’ mother in more ways than one. He elevated Gloria’s name and the WunderGlo cause – to cure colon cancer using “creative, forward-thinking and aggressive methods.”
Toms also scored another victory in Gloria’s name. Those are priceless.
“I was crying on the green when they talked about Gloria,” Toms’ right-hand man, longtime caddie Scott Gneiser, told the Journal.
Toms has always enjoyed flying under the radar when it comes to fame, but he’s always found a way to use his name to help many, especially in Louisiana.
On the course, it’s been more of the same. He’s an unassuming assassin, whose ball-striking has often been unmatched. The key this week: rekindling the magic in his putter.
“(My putting) is why I haven’t won (a lot on PGA Tour Champions),” Toms admitted. “The stroke felt good. I gave a little tip to myself and it worked all week.”
Toms’ victory came in the tournament’s final visit to Omni Tucson National. His clutch putt on 18 prevented a playoff on that devil of a hole.
“We’re not the best of friends,” Toms said about No. 18.
After the winning putt, Toms whispered to Gneiser: “At least we don’t have to see that hole again.”
Toms showed his true colors once again Sunday. He proved his golf game is elite, but it doesn’t hold a candle to his heart.
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