GRAEME McDowell will tee off at the Masters Par 3 at Augusta, Georgia, later today with a double amputee war veteran as his caddy.
The Co Antrim Major winner (36) said he was "honoured" to take part in the competition with Kevin McCloskey (29) who lost his lower limbs in Afghanistan eight years ago.
The army corporal from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lost one of his legs below the knee and the other above the knee when his convoy struck a Taliban anti-tank device during Operation Enduring Freedom in June 2008.
The explosion in Logar Province also resulted in sight loss to his right eye, a traumatic brain injury and burns all over his body.
He received the Purple Heart presidential medal following his ordeal.
"I'm honoured to have Kevin McCloskey on my bag for (today's) Par 3 competition. Looking forward to it. #hero," McDowell tweeted his 700,000 followers.
McCloskey was a competitive athlete in school and did mixed martial arts for his 101st Airborne Division. After suffering his injuries he found a love of sport again through golf.
He now spends much of time helping other veterans and amputees learn or re-learn to play golf through the Eastern Amputee Golf Association.
During his rehabilitation, he told Philly.com: "The thing about the Taliban is, they could tell when the Army had new units move in. Usually, they give us time to get settled. Then they try to get you."
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