The opening day of the AT&T National golf tournament, held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., had a military flare to it, as it usually does. But it went above and beyond standard fare.
In addition to a Black Hawk flyover and a performance by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, there was an appearance by a Medal of Honor recipient — not every PGA Tour event can claim that.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, who received the Medal of Honor last year, spoke during the opening ceremonies. Petry was participating in a house-clearing operation in May 2008 in Paktya province, Afghanistan, when he lost part of his right arm because of a grenade blast. Petry threw an enemy-tossed grenade away from two wounded nearby Army Rangers “with complete disregard for his safety,” as his award citation states.
Petry has taken up golf since losing his right hand. “I keep telling myself I only have one hand to count on, so I’m not going to make anything larger than a 5 on any hole,” he quipped to the audience.
Tournament host Tiger Woods, son of a late Army lieutenant colonel, appreciates the “severe price” wounded warriors have paid.
He also appreciates their perspective on serving the country, he said.
“I wish people could meet them and see their attitude,” he said, according to a news release. “It’s an honor to do things for them.”