Niagara Gazette — The last time I saw Tom was at the 2011 tournament. His vision had been failing for a long time, and he had other health issues, but it never stopped him from taking part in the Porter Cup.
Just as always we hopped in a cart — I had a column I wanted to write and needed a mid-amateur player to talk to. “You drive,” he ordered, and off we went to the back nine. Along the way, Tom had me slow down for a young lady walking along the cart path and he offered her a ride. That was so typical of him, thinking of others. She hopped on and told us she had just arrived from somewhere in Indiana and had been on the road since before dawn to come see her son, Patrick Rodgers.
We found Patrick and I found my mid-am player shortly after that. Little did any of us know then that Rodgers would be the toast of the tournament three days later, slipping into the champion’s green blazer.
The Porter Cup will go on under Steve Denn’s excellent direction and with the many volunteers that make it a success each year. It just won’t be the same without Tom Denn.Bill McGrath is a former sports editor of the Niagara Gazette who covered the Porter Cup for more than 40 years.