AUGUSTA, Ga. – Moet Hennessy USA, leading importer and marketer of luxury wines, spirits and champagnes in North America, underscored its longstanding support for the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces by inviting Army Corporal Kevin McCloskey to participate in the Wednesday Par-3 Contest at the 2016 Masters Tournament as the personal caddie for TOUR player Graeme McDowell. CPL McCloskey was joined by his wife and caregiver, Bridget.
A native of Elkins Park, Penn., CPL McCloskey was driving in a convoy with the 506th Infantry Regiment (4th Brigade), 101st Airborne Division, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED). CPL McCloskey doesn’t remember much of the accident, but has been told that he saw the pressure board and swerved to avoid it, taking the majority of the blast himself. The explosion resulted in the loss of both legs, vision loss in his right eye, extensive burns and a traumatic brain injury. CPL McCloskey, a competitive athlete in high school, didn’t think he would be able to play or compete in sports again, but soon found a love for golf. He credits the game with helping him rehabilitate both physically and psychologically.
“We are indebted to CPL McCloskey and all of our courageous military members and their families, who make innumerable sacrifices so that all Americans can enjoy a level of freedom and quality of life unmatched around the world,” said Moet Hennessey North America’s President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Clerkin. “We are grateful to Graeme McDowell and Birdies for the Brave for enabling us to help show this extraordinary young man our sincere appreciation during one of golf’s most iconic professional golf tournaments.”
CPL McCloskey was first introduced to Birdies for the Brave, a national military outreach initiative supported by the PGA TOUR, through the non-profit military charity, Homes for Our Troops, and subsequently participated in Birdies for the Brave’s Callaway Warrior Club Fitting program in 2015 at The Barclays.
On Wednesday, CPL McCloskey joined Birdies for the Brave at Augusta National Golf Club where Graeme McDowell broke out all the stops to ensure CPL McCloskey had an experience he would never forget. From the drive down Magnolia Lane in the passenger seat of McDowell’s tournament vehicle, to getting fit for his caddie jumpsuit and official Masters cap, and eventually teeing it up on No. 9 of the Par 3 course, CPL McCloskey received the red-carpet treatment and got to experience many parts of Augusta that are generally reserved for TOUR players and caddies only.
“For a guy bringing up his family in this part of the world, obviously we’re hugely grateful for what these guys do for us and the country, and protecting our families, so it’s amazing to spend the day with him,” McDowell said Wednesday as he stood on the driving range next to McCloskey, who was beaming with excitement.
For more information on Birdies for the Brave, please visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org.