The fourth annual Patriot Cup was bigger and better than its predecessors and again raised significant funds for the Folds of Honor Foundation, perhaps as much as $750,000 according to FOHF founder Dan Rooney. The relaxed format of pros playing with military heroes and celebrities all being accessible to interact with the more than 1,000 spectators is a winner for both the participants and attendees.
Many of the familiar faces who have supported Rooney’s efforts from the beginning were back again, men like Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Bo Van Pelt and the immensely popular Rickie Fowler, who played with Rooney this year.
CBS announcer David Feherty, who talked with Golf Oklahoma about his love for the U.S. and particularly its war heroes (see Q&A with Feherty in the June-July issue of Golf Oklahoma) told the assembled throng at the impressive opening ceremonies to talk to the veterans they meet, treat them like normal people but show them they recognize and appreciate their sacrifices.
Rooney said the event is gaining momentum each year and will continue to grow. He said that many of the pros who have supported the event have promised to bring their "friends" in the future, which could only raise the star factor to an even hgher level.
Most of the money raised at the Patriot Cup is from corporate sponsors. Next up for the Folds of Honor Foundation will be Patriot Day over the Labor Day weekend, in which golfers across the country are encouraged to donate $1 or more to the Foundation. More than 5,000 facilities participated in Patriot Day activities in 2012.
See below for some images of the 2013 Patriot Cup by photographer Rip Stell.