Korn Ferry Tour golfer dwelling over thoughts down south as Hurricane Laura hits near hometown

Korn Ferry Tour golfer dwelling over thoughts down south as Hurricane Laura hits near hometown

NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - Korn Ferry Tour golfer Dawie van der Walt was born in Pearl, South Africa -- a country no stranger to hurricanes.

Since moving to the United States, van der Walt makes his home in Kingwood, Texas, a suburb of Houston. His in-laws live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Laura.

“Cameron County is right where it made landfall, my father-in-law said he’d be happy if he had anything left when he got home,” van der Walt said. “I don’t know the status on my father-in-law’s house, but he probably got 150 mile per hour winds, so it’s not going to be good.”

This isn’t van der Walt’s first go-round with a hurricane. He and his wife went through Hurricane Harvey three years ago.

“We got lucky three years ago - we had Hurricane Harvey and we had three feet of water in my house,” van der Walt said. “I had $200,000 in damage. I was a little nervous, but there’s not much you can do. You just got to evacuate and make sure you just have lots of insurance.”

If there was a hurricane on his mind, no one would have known by his performance in round one, as van der Walt shot a fantastic score of eight-under-par. He finished with eight birdies and no scores worse than par.

After such a strong opening round, it’s hard to think that van der Walt said he almost considered not even playing.

“I was contemplating should I just go home and be with my wife and kids. Obviously I was thinking about it all day,” van der Walt said. “I kept checking my phone, but he’s not back there - he’s at my house. It’ll probably be a few days before you can get back there to see the exact damage. My brother-in-law stayed behind; he’s in SWAT. He texted me about 2 a.m. and said it’s bad.”

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