- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 2, 2009


After Tiger Woods completed his pro-am round Wednesday at Congressional Country Club, he waded through the fans behind the ninth green - signing a few autographs along the way - and made his way to the first tee.

Tiger the player was finished for the day. It was time for Tiger the host to fulfill some of his duties for the AT&T National’s opening ceremony.

The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team greeted him with a perfectly coordinated routine, followed by Jessica Simpson’s rendition of the national anthem and the 101st Airborne Division Parachute Demonstration Team’s descent from a helicopter.

Four parachutists delivered the golf balls for ceremonial first shots, which were hit by Woods, Maj. Ken Dwyer and Staff Sgt. Ramon Padilla - both of whom were wounded in combat.

This year, the tournament has made a point of honoring those who have been wounded in battle. On hole No. 7 during the pro-am, Woods had a guest caddie who was a wounded veteran from the Marine Corps. And on Tuesday, Woods and other members of the Tiger Woods Foundation made a trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit those who had been injured in war.

“It was so awe-inspiring,” Woods said of the trip. “You understand why this tournament is so important.”

This year, tournament officials continued the tradition of distributing complimentary tournament tickets to military personnel, giving out 30,000.

- Scott Miller


“I’m a Redskins fan; I would’ve stepped on [Romo’s ball].”

- A patron following Tiger Woods’ pro-am group, which included Tony Romo, after the Cowboys quarterback hit his tee shot on No. 14 in the right rough

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