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WATCH- Team of Missouri military vets compete at Bethpage before PGA Championship – KMOX-AM

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (KMOX) – Although they finished two two-strokes behind the leaders, the Gateway PGA Reach team of four U.S. Military veterans and one local pro probably had more fun than anybody.

They were hollering at every rimmed-out putt for birdie and each time Mike Marcuzzo, the team’s pro out of Arlington Greens Golf Course in Granite City, Ill., earned his spot on the team with a piped drive or seeking approach shot.

Video by Sam Masterson (narrated by Tom Ackerman)

Monday, they played in the 4th annual Secretary’s Cup, a scramble tournament organized by PGA Hope that brings in teams of military veterans from around the U.S. together, right before the PGA Championship, which is being played at Bethpage Black this weekend. The vets played at the Bethpage Blue and Red courses, which were soggy after nearly 24-hours of steady rain over the weekend. 

The team of Christian Fleming, Marlin Runyan, Joe Kubasta, Grant Naughton and Marcuzzo came from greater St. Louis and central Missouri areas, some meeting for the first time. Two were veterans of the Vietnam War, the other two served recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

They were hoping the score of 3-under par would hold up well on a day with sloppy conditions and Fleming, a double-amputee due to an IED explosion, at one point etched his name as the owner of the longest-drive competition. Unfortunately, neither score would hold during the award ceremony inside the Bethpage clubhouse. 

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