This past weekend I had a great opportunity to photograph the annual REX Hospital Nationwide Open Golf Tournament at Wakefield Plantation. With press pass in toe, I headed out very early Thursday morning to capture the first round honorary tee shot. And I’m not kidding when I say early, I left my home at 5:30am. I was greeted by my editor and Bob Bidwell, the longtime starter for Wakefield Plantation. This was not the first time I had met Bob. Last month we did a feature article on his career at Wakefield. He has been a starter for nearly 50 years! Bob is quite the character and always greets me with, “look, it’s Megan, the girl with the photographs.”
The tournament was kicked off with members of the North Carolina Honor Guard presentation of the colors during the national anthem. The Flag presentation was immediately followed by the wounded warrior honorary tee shot.
Let the fun begin!
It is a great atmosphere for all ages, even the kids had plenty to entertain them!
I had a wedding on Saturday but I was able to return for a great finale…
James Hahn from Florida pulled out a win after a 2-hole play-off. I’m not a big fan of golf, but I must say this was quite exciting. Overcome by emotion, he greeted his father with tears.
Before the trophy presentation was to begin, organizers had one last surprise for the hundreds of onlookers. To celebrate Service Appreciation Day, the US Army Golden Knights Team parachuted overhead landing on the 18th fairway. There were quite a lot of ewws and ahhs behind me. Everyone landed safely and posed for a picture before packing up.
James gave a very emotional speech thanking his family and friends and even taking a few moments to thank his caddy. James commented that he usually selects local caddy’s for each tournament and went on to later lift the trophy with him. There were hecklers in the crowd along the last leg of the play-off and James personally thanked them in his acceptance speech for motivating him to push on. The crowd roared with laughter at these remarks.
Congratulations to James Hahn on being the 2012 REX Hospital Open winner!