Miami - The PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open returns on Thursday after Hurricane Maria ripped through the Caribbean island in 2017, causing damage and devastation that reduced last year's event to a charity fundraiser.
While the pro-am helped raise money for hurricane recovery efforts, Puerto Rican PGA Tour player Rafa Campos will be happy to see the full PGA event return this week to his homeland.
"People stayed with the idea that we could do it again. It's a great thing to have it back," Campos said. "It took a really long time, but you cannot tell, really, that a hurricane came by at this point. It took a year-and-a-half, but things are back to normal."
Hurricane Maria caused nearly $100 billion in damages and prompted a lengthy rebuilding effort.
Now Campos, who has never missed a PGA event in Puerto Rico, makes his 11th start, hoping to improve upon his best finish of sharing eighth in 2016 after seizing the 18-hole lead.
His dream is to join Chi Chi Rodriguez, the only Puerto Rican native to win a PGA title.
Campos won on the developmental Web.com Tour earlier this year in the Bahamas and is on track to claim a PGA Tour card for the first time, trying to set an example for a growing number of junior players from the island.
"I want to be an example for them," Campos said. "Now that I've finally won, I can't wait to go back and help more."
Campos was told by his parents not to try and return home in the wake of hurricane devastation.
"I can't imagine what they went through because no one was really prepared," he said. "It was devastating.
"Everybody helped everybody, which was unbelievable, because it was bad. I mean, it was really bad."
"The island is back to normal. And it looks great," he added.