Dan Casara wasn't supposed to walk again, let alone play golf.
But he got that chance on a bigger stage than he ever thought possible Wednesday.
Casara was one of two pro-am partners of Keegan Bradley at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., who were double amputees playing on prosthetic legs.
Casara hit his approach to about 6 feet on the 523-yard, par-4 18th hole and putted for the group.
Casara, 40, a U.S. Army veteran from San Diego, lost both his legs in an anti-tank mine explosion in 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The doctor said I wouldn’t walk again,” Casara said. “For me to be here, not even here at Congressional, but on a golf course, it’s huge for me. I’m doing something I never thought I would do.”
Casara said he never played golf until he met his wife Basia. He started four years ago and gets out two to four times a week now.
Casara credited the Salute to Military Golf Association based in Silver Spring, Md., for his opportunity Wednesday.
“I’m extremely and eternally grateful,” he said.
“They were great guys,” Bradley said after the round.
The Quicken Loans National supports the U.S. military and kicked off with a ceremony to salute the Armed Forces Wednesday morning at the first tee. The tournament, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, gives out 30,000 tickets to servicemen and women and their families this week.
Near the 18th green is a “We Salute Our Heroes” Board for patrons and golfers to sign. Sections of it, bearing thanks and well wishes, will be taken down and sent to the USO and other veterans facilities.