Despite a horrific-ending deployment to Iraq, Chad Pfeifer has found new life.
The former Army corporal lost his left leg after an improvised-explosive device (IED) hit his vehicle during a patrol in 2007. Pfeifer’s leg was amputated above the knee.
In addition to losing his leg, Pfeifer also suffered a heel fracture, minor brain trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. But he carried on and as a result of his work ethic and achievements on the golf course was invited to play at this week’s American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe.
The event will be televised on July 18 on NBC Sports Network from 1-4 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday on NBC at noon.
Last week, Pfeifer, along with John Elway, Annika Sorenstam and Notay Begay III participated in a conference call with the media.
Pfeifer’s path to the ACC started during his rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. There, Pfeifer met another wound veteran who suggested he take up golf.
“I just hit a few balls and fell in love with it. Golf was a sport that allowed me to be a competitor again,” he added. “It got me walking around on my prosthetic leg and gave me good practice. Walking around up and down hills, into bunkers, just different terrains of the golf course. It gave me confidence walking on the prosthetic.”
Fast forward several years and the former paratrooper started a run of three consecutive wins at the Warrior Open, hosted by former U.S. President George W. Bush.
The result of his success was an invitation to play at this year’s ACC. He is a 15-1 favorite to win the title.
“I was just ecstatic to be invited to the ACC. It’s an incredible opportunity for me, not only to test my golf game but to be on the course with so many legendary athletes.
“Biggest goal is to have as much fun as I can … and test my game against these guys and gals.”
When he’s not on the course, Pfeifer works as a golf pro at the Goodyear Golf Club of Estrella in Arizona.
At the ACC, however, he expects plenty of fan support. This year the ACC is providing free tickets to active, reserve and veterans of the military.
“From all I’ve heard … it’s a great group of fans and supporters. I don’t feel like it won’t be anything short of great support for veterans like myself. For any (veterans) watching, I feel they will be great supporters.”