By Tim HippsJune 24, 2009
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, June 23, 2009) -- Tournament host Tiger Woods will honor wounded warriors on the first tee box during a patriotic salute to U.S. military personnel and their families to officially open the 2009 AT&T National PGA Tour event, July 1, at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
Several wounded warriors will join Woods on the first tee at 11 a.m. to watch members of the 101st Airborne Division Parachute Demonstration Team skydive onto the fairway with golf balls for the tournament's ceremonial first shots.
Maj. Ken Dwyer of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Staff Sgt. Ramon Padilla of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington will join Woods to officially launch the tournament.
"Hopefully people come out, not only to watch the players, but also to say thank you to all of the servicemen and women who are coming out here," Woods said. "If it wasn't for them, what they are doing overseas, things might be different here."
In 2007, Former President George H.W. Bush hit the ceremonial first shot at the inaugural AT&T National. Last year, children of deployed servicemembers had the honor of joining tournament host Fred Couples, who filled in for Woods, who was recovering from knee surgery.
The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team will perform, and Jessica Simpson will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the patriotic ceremony. Simpson recently performed for troops in Iraq and Kuwait.
Woods will partner the same day with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to play in the third annual Earl D. Woods Memorial Pro-Am. Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El and Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau will also play in the pro-am.
Boudreau will be tuning up for the 2009 Bruce Boudreau-John Anderson Celebrity Classic, scheduled for July 27, at Lionhead Golf and Country Club in Brampton, Ontario. Boudreau and Anderson, head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, both played for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Military Caddie Program again will feature troops serving as caddies for the pros on the seventh hole during the pro-am. Two years ago at that hole, Woods handed his putter to Sgt. Michael Woods of Army Materiel Command at Fort Belvoir, Va. Sgt. Woods then knocked down a 12-foot putt for the play of the day at Congressional as the gallery roared.
The Tiger Woods Foundation donated 30,000 tickets to the military to attend one day of the AT&T National, scheduled for June 28 through July 5. Those unable to get tickets through an ITT/ITR office can show a military identification card at the gate and receive complimentary admission Aca,!" one ticket per ID. Accompanying children 12-and-under will be admitted for free.
"To have the military there and to have everyone support the event like they did the first year ... having the players just rave about it, having all the fans rave about it, it was just such a huge success," Tiger said. "We are just trying to build on that momentum we created the first year."
Lockheed Martin's Military Pavilion, located near the fourth tee, will provide snacks, beverages and a prime viewing area for military ticket holders Tuesday through Sunday of the tournament week.
All spectators are welcome to visit the USO Care Package Tent, which will sit adjacent to the Lockheed Martin Pavilion, to help assemble care packages for deployed troops.
For more information, visit www.armymwr.com or e-mail questions to email@example.com.
(Tim Hipps writes for the Family and MWR Command Public Affairs Office.)