‘The Most Joyful Day in Dallas': Warrior Open Kicks Off Byron Nelson Week

From the battlefield to the playing field, one of the great events of AT&T Byron Nelson week in Dallas got underway Sunday.

The "Bush Institute Warrior Open" brings together 24 wounded warriors from across the country to compete in their own golf tournament.

Former President George W. Bush was on hand to greet each one of them as they teed off at Trinity Forest Golf Club. He called it "perhaps the most joyful day in Dallas."

"They're good golfers," Bush said. "But more importantly, they're men of good character."

This year's field included several men who have battled PTSD, amputees and even a Medal of Honor recipient.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant, and Fort Worth resident, Andrew Bachelder was also there, marking his fifth time to play in the Warrior Open.

"The camaraderie with these guys and playing on this stage is amazing, really," Bachelder said.

He credits golf -- specifically this tournament -- with saving his life.

Following a midair collision that ultimately ended his military career in 2009, Bachelder said he was in a dark place and contemplated suicide.

But then his mom suggested he pick up golf and participate in the Warrior Open.

Now, golf is his therapy. And he actively encourages other combat veterans to take it up as well.

"It just brings our peace," Bachelder said. "It's our quiet place. It's where we can focus on different things that we don't need to focus on in real life. We can just focus on that one little, small, white golf ball."

The Warrior Open continues Monday with the Pro-Am competition, where wounded warriors will get a chance to play with PGA Tour pros.

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