Rodney Gorman wins Warrior Open, earns spot at ACC | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rodney Gorman wins Warrior Open, earns spot at ACC

Tribune staff report

Retired Army Sgt. Maj. Rod Gorman shares a handshake with former U.S. President George W. Bush after winning the Warrior Open held in Irving, Texas. The win earned Gorman a berth in the American Century Championship, where he will make his debut next month.

IRVING, Texas — Rodney Gorman has punched his ticket to South Lake Tahoe and earned a spot in the 2015 American Century Championship. The retired Army Sgt. Maj. won the Bush Center's fourth annual Warrior Open held Oct. 1-2 at Las Colinas Country Club, a title that brings an invitation to play in next year's ACC tournament.

A Montana native, Gorman joined the Army in 1983. He was deployed to the Gulf War in 1991, and has deployed to the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, and completed numerous deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Gorman has received several awards and decorations for his service. He currently instructs Special Operations Forces throughout the military and instructs CQB (Close Quarters Battle) tactics to several major municipal SWAT teams around the country.

The Warrior Open is a competitive 36-hole golf tournament, including an 18-hole Pro-am event, featuring members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served their country honorably and have been severely wounded since Sept. 11, 2001. The tournament is a program of the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the U.S. service members who volunteer to serve and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and protect the many liberties we cherish," said Jonathan Thomas, American Century Investments president and chief executive officer. "Partnering with the George W. Bush Institute to make the Warrior Open a feeder tournament for the American Century Championship is our way of saying 'Thank you' to our brave military veterans."

As part of the Warrior Open prize package, Gorman will compete July 17-19 against more than 80 celebrities and athletes at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course for a portion of the $600,000 American Century Championship prize purse. American Century's decision to allow future Warrior Open winners to play in the annual celebrity tournament was prompted by the appearance of retired U.S. Army Cpl. Chad Pfeifer at the 2014 ACC.

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A three-time Warrior Open winner, Pfeifer's participation in the tournament was the centerpiece of a special tribute to U.S. Armed Forces in recognition of its 25th anniversary. The Iraq war veteran and amputee inspired tournament fans with his determination and impressive golf skills. Pfeifer was on top of the leaderboard after the first day and ultimately finished in fifth place, earning $20,000.

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