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Phil Mickelson's Birdies for the Brave Weekend Supports Military Charities

Thursday, December 06, 2012  
Posted by: Edie Rosenthal
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By Helen Ross, PGA Tour

(Nov. 30) With a Black Hawk helicopter as a backdrop and two rows of golf carts standing ready in the distance, the Birdies for the Brave military appreciation gala and pro-am kicked off on a flawless Friday morning at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla.  The events benefitted nine military homefront groups, including the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

A who’s who of the game was in attendance, including the tournament host and Birdies for the Brave founder, Phil Mickelson, as well as the legendary Jack Nicklaus. Among the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and LPGA TOUR pros competing in the two-day event are Mark O’Meara, David Duval, Vijay Singh, Fuzzy Zoeller, Juli Inkster and Hubert Green.

Servicemen and women in uniform were also in attendance for the opening ceremonies.

"When we look at this flag and what it represents, it comes with a high cost for many many soldiers, dating back from before this was actually a country, who sacrificed their lives to the current men and women of the military who put their lives on the line and at risk day in and day out," Mickelson said. "Our freedoms, our civil liberties and rights come with a great price.

"We all have a responsibility whether we’re on the front line or whether we’re a civilian to pay respects and to contribute all that we can to this great country to make sure that the men and women who do put their lives on the line day-in and day-out know how much we appreciate it and respect it and understand it and never take it for granted."

Jack Nicklaus, who said he is working on some golf course projects targeted for the military, has seen the need first-hand.

"I’ve been involved in quite a few of these types of events with the wounded warriors," he said, taking a break from posing for pictures to head to the range.

"Each one of them makes you feel good because you’re seeing the results and the people you’re helping. It gets to you down in your heart.

"And you say, these guys need some help and they do. … To be involved in these things, it makes you feel like maybe you’re contributing. You couldn’t go overseas but you contribute here.

"Shortly after Friday’s shotgun start, Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, also hosted a baby shower for 30 Jacksonville, Fla., area Navy wives who are expecting children while their husbands are deployed overseas. Also serving as a hostess was Cathy Justice, whose husband Jim owns The Greenbrier Resort, and special guests included Phil Mickelson’s mother Mary and Amy Mickelson’s mother Renee McBride.

Check out THE GOLF CHANNEL special presentation of the Birdies for the Brave event on DEC 12th at 7 pm (EST)

For more information on the Birdies for the Brave event, visit http://together.pgatour.com/


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