The Quicken Loans National hasn’t always borne the same name, but the Tiger Woods-hosted event was the first to grant military members and their dependants free admission.
The military has always held a special place in Woods’ heart, as his father, Earl, was a US Army infantry officer who served two tours in Vietnam. The elder Woods famously started teaching his son the game of golf almost as soon as he was born.
So on the 16th hole during Wednesday’s Pro-Am at the Quicken Loans National, where active military replaced players’ regular caddies for a hole, was both a special moment for him and for his stand-in caddie, Air Force Master Sergeant Adam Harbold.
“Tiger is just an absolutely amazing person to talk to,” Harbold said. “His mind, between business, sports, golf, he’s a competitor in both. I just wanted to have the opportunity to talk to him a little bit about the TGR Woods foundation, which does a tremendous job each and every year of putting this Quicken Loans tournament on for the military and the families of the military.”
Woods parred the 16th hole, but this was about more than golf, and more than just one hole during a Wednesday Pro-Am.
“We just really tried to do all we could,” Woods said after his round of the purpose of this tournament. “Not just for the D.C. area, but our nation’s capital and our nation’s birthday and try to say thank you to all the people who are putting their lives on the line for us and our freedoms.”
Harbold, who chatted with Woods all the way up the hole, noted just how far a little recognition goes for folks in the military and their families.
“There’s a lot of times that we’re away from our families, our friends, our homes,” he said. “And so just this little bit of recognition makes that journey away from those types of things a little bit more easy to digest.”
Woods hasn’t played in this event since 2015, but is back in good spirits despite a poor showing at the U.S. Open. And while this moment was one Harbold surely won’t ever forget, he extra-surely won’t forget it if Woods is standing in the winner’s circle Sunday evening.
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