The Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Maui started off the New Year by giving back to those who selflessly put their lives on the line in service to our country. On January 3, the tournament – the calendar-year opening event of the PGA TOUR season – joined with Southwest Airlines to create a special day for 20 active duty military members based on Oahu.
As part of the Southwest Airlines Military VIP Day Program, each military member and his or her guest were flown from Honolulu to Maui for a memorable day that included premium tournament viewing and lunch from the exclusive private Banyan Club hospitality venue; and a behind-the-scenes tour of the tournament’s Media Center. PGA TOUR player Gary Woodland was among those who took time following his round to personally express gratitude to the service members, spending nearly 20 minutes speaking with and taking photos alongside the group. The group was also gifted with sunglasses compliments of Maui Jim.
“I was lucky enough to be invited along, and really appreciated the chance to experience a professional golf tournament away from our military duties,” said U.S. Marine Corps LCpl. Ana Viloa Martinez. “I can’t thank the PGA TOUR and Southwest enough!”
Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Watterson, a former U.S. Army Specialist, expressed how honored Southwest was to host the day, saying, “I know from experience that when you are active duty, you are “on” 24/7 – so it is a privilege to be able to give these airmen and women, sailors and soldiers a chance to relax and enjoy this special experience.”
For more information about Birdies for the Brave and other military activations taking place during the 2020 season, visit www.birdiesforthebrave.or or follow them on Facebook.