Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Veterans and professional athletes met on the golf course for a game before attending a practice round at the Masters. It’s a time when everybody is talking about golf.
Top Junior Female Golfer in the World and Drive, Chip & Putt Champion Alexa Pano was winning when WJBF News Channel 6 spoke with her at Jones Creek Golf Club. “Really well. Just got to get some birdies,” she said.
Veteran Golfer’s Association (VGA) member Jonathan Knight wasn’t having the best game.
“We still have some more holes left,” he said being hopeful.
Tim Robinson, another VGA member, told us, “Golf is that game that nobody can really master.”
The VGA brought those men and women who served this country to the Jones Creek Golf Club to play with a few celebrities.
VGA President & CEP Joshua Peyton played with Plano. He told us the event was designed for Military Appreciation Day.
“It’s a small token of appreciation for a lot of the things they do for us to keep us free,” he said.
Former Major League Baseball Pitcher Russ Ortiz told us he didn’t mind playing one of America’s favorite sports with vets because he knows one close to him.
Ortiz said, “I grew up with my grandparents, my brother and I, at our grandparents house and he was a veteran and he obviously is like our dad.”
We also caught up with another famous athlete with a veteran in his family.
Former NFL Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress said, “I’m actually named after my uncle. He did three tours in Vietnam and he’s a great man, a wonderful human being.”
Some very young golf celebs honored service men and women too. Top Junior Golfer in the World Allan Kournikova found out vets with disabilities can make the best teammates too.
“He still manages to hit unbelievable shots even though he doesn’t have all the tools that most people do and he still manages to get that ball in the hole,” said Kournikova.
His partner, veteran Andrew Smith was impressed with the young golfer too.
“It’s awesome to see how far he hits it. He’s got a good game and so I’m excited to see in the future where he’s playing. He’ll probably be playing at Augusta National someday.”
“They’re enamored by the celebrities and I think the celebrities are kind of enamored by the veterans. You know when you can see a guy with no legs hit a ball 200 yards off the deck, I mean it’s pretty, it’s pretty impressive,” Peyton said.
The group had dinner after attending the practice round.