The perfect golf weather was not the only thing to be grateful for as the former President George W. Bush kicked off the second annual George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Warrior Open held at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, which he called a “celebration of patriotism, courage and sacrifice.”
Twenty-two wounded veterans took part in this year’s three-day tournament, which started on Sunday, Sept. 23 with a nine-hole shotgun practice round with the many sponsors, such as Highland Capital Management, Briggs Equipment, USO and other generous organizations.
Monday, Sept. 24 and Tuesday, Sept. 25 split up the 36-hole tournament into 18 holes per day.
When the defending champion of last year’s Warrior Open, Retired Corporal Chad E. Pfeifer (United States Army) shot a remarkable hole-in-one, he couldn't have asked for a better audience than a former president of the United States.
“That was the closest I’ll ever get to a hole in one,” said former President George W. Bush jokingly.
Pfiefer sustained injuries from his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which unfortunately lead to the unavoidable amputation of his left leg above the knee. He eventually picked up golf for therapy and grew to love it.
Pfiefer went on to defend his position and won the Warrior Open again this year. Congratulations!
Another competitor, Retired Staff Sergeant James M. Stanek Jr., (United States Army) who suffers from chronic severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, had a four-legged teammate. His service dog, trained to be sensitive to Stanek’s emotional state, helped Stanek several times during the day, calming him down and making the tasks at hand more manageable.
ClubCorp as a whole was able to substantialize its' gratitude when Mark Burnett, ClubCorp Executive Vice President of the Golf and Country Club Division presented the 11 new competitors with a lifetime honorary membership to a ClubCorp Club of their choice. Last year’s competitors had received the same gift as well.
Over 1500 retired and active duty military participated in the event by cheering on the warriors on the green. In addition, there were almost 400 volunteers who helped make the event a huge success and the USO offered complimentary food to anyone at the event with a military ID.
Congratulations again to all the competitors and thank you for your service and sacrifice every day!