Miami - PGA Tour players who typically would be playing the Puerto Rico Open this weekend instead teed off on Friday with LPGA and island sport stars in a 36-hole charity event.
In the wake of damage across Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria nearly six months ago, this year's Puerto Rico Open was replaced by a Pro-Am benefit tournament through Saturday at TPC Dorado Beach, one of the Caribbean island's 13 championship courses.
The Puerto Rico Open will return in 2019 and 2020 as a full 72-hole PGA tournament after commitments from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
"The Island is open for tourism and to be able to host this event is indicative of that," tourism company acting executive director Carla Campos said.
"We are very pleased to have formalized an agreement with the PGA Tour for the 2019 and 2020 Puerto Rico Open."
The special pro-am is aimed at raising $500 000 for non-profit ventures across Puerto Rico.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has already donated $50 000. The 10-time PGA winner had planned to compete in the event before winning last month at Riviera to qualify for this week's World Golf Championships Mexico Championship.
D.A. Points, last year's Puerto Rico Open winner, is among those playing in the event as well as past champions Derek Lamely and George McNeill.
Puerto Rican PGA player Rafael Campos and Maria Torres, the first Puerto Rican player to earn an LPGA Tour card, are also competing.
Retired boxer Miguel Cotto and former Major League Baseball players Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Baerga and Carlos Delgado were also among those taking part.