Should more top players be in New Orleans?

As a nonprofit organization, the PGA Tour is famous for its charitable donations. Its professional members have also bought into the notion, recently giving millions of dollars to relief efforts in New Orleans.

So why aren't there more top players competing at this week's Zurich Classic? This is seemingly the best chance for players to give back to the community, by entertaining the public and competing in the hometown event.

In fact, only 12 of the world's top 50 are in New Orleans this week. Should there be more? Our experts answer that question and more in Fact or Fiction.

• More top players should be competing in New Orleans.

Bob Harig, contributor, ESPN.com: FICTION. It would be nice if more top players were in New Orleans to support the cause, but to say they should be there is a bit unfair. Some have done their part in other ways, and they do have a right to pick and choose. The fact that the PGA Tour made the commitment to be there is the best message.

Jason Sobel, golf editor, ESPN.com: FACT. Players with personal issues (like Tiger Woods and Darren Clarke) get a hall pass. Every other top player should have made it a point to get down to the Bayou and entertain the people of New Orleans. This is about them, not you.

Brian Wacker, assistant editor, GolfDigest.com: FACT. If you've seen any recent photographs or images of what New Orleans and surrounding Gulf Coast communities look like, you know that things still resemble a third-world country down there. I'm not one to stand on a soap box and tell people how to spend their time or money, but teeing it up in a golf tournament eight months after the worst natural disaster this country has ever seen would not only lift spirits, but make some much-needed dollars for an area that, aside from anything else, has treated the players well through the years.

Ron Sirak, executive editor, Golf World: FACT. It is an embarrassment that only 12 of the top 50 players in the world are at the Zurich. This was an opportunity to make a statement of support for an embattled city. That can be much more valuable than a financial contribution.

• The Zurich Classic champion should donate his winnings to the people of New Orleans.

Harig: FICTION. Again, it would be nice but that is a lot to ask. What if it's a first-year player or someone who hasn't made any money this year? The whole check? That would be an incredible gesture. It would be better to ask every player in the field to donate a portion of his earnings, and amount at his choosing.

Sobel: FACT. Sure, $1.08 million is a lot of cash. But this is one player's chance to do something really beneficial with his earnings, whether it's helping to rebuild homes, schools or anything else. Besides, he'll never be hurting for a good seat at the Mardi Gras parade again.

Sirak: FICTION. If the winner is a top-name player, then that makes sense. But no matter who the winner is, he should donate at least some of the prize money to relief efforts.

Wacker: FICTION. I go back to my point about not telling people how to spend their time or money -- and in many cases, players make donations privately. It would, however, be a tremendous gesture to see the winner donate at least a portion of his earnings to relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. In fact, if every player in the field donated his winnings, that would be even better.

• Pick to win -- Zurich Classic.

Harig: DAVID TOMS. His foundation has raised more than $1.5 million for hurricane relief. Toms is rewarded for his efforts.

Sirak: DAVID TOMS. Louisiana guy comes through for his home state -- then donates all the winnings to relief efforts.

Wacker: DAVID TOMS. There's no one the fans at English Turn would rather see win than local boy David Toms. Toms, who won there in 2001, has already done so much for the area through his foundation that it would only be fitting.

Sobel: PHIL MICKELSON. Already a fan favorite, Mickelson triumphs and endears himself to fans (yet again) by donating the winnings.

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