Jonathan Mullen: Wednesday's real star at Quicken Loans National

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- The golf course was star-studded on Wednesday morning for the Quicken Loans National Pro-Am tournament.

Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Jonathan Mullen? OK, so you probably haven't heard of the last guy on that list until today, but his story is probably the only one out of those four worth telling on Wednesday.

Mullen was invited to the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament by The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA). That's the organization that helps warriors wounded in combat recover by introducing them to golf.

On the driving range, you could see that Mullen wasn't a quitter. He had to adjust his swing to make up for his injuries.

Mullen lost both of his legs in in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan in June of 2011.

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"We were engaged with the enemy ... I was carrying a machine gun and as I was walking back I stepped on a pressure plate," Mullen said.

A pressure plate is an improvised explosive device that is very common in desert warfare. They are tiny, but they do a lot of damage to a human being.

Mullen's scars all over his body and his prosthetic legs tell the horrific story of that day three years ago.

Yet, here he is. After two years at Walter Reed and a lot of physical and mental therapy, he's out on the golf course, ready to tee off with Bradley.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Bradley finished tied for fourth place in the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Pinehurst #2. Millions watched that tournament and many articles and news stories were done about the adversity players had to endure on the course.

On Wednesday morning, former PGA Champion Bradley teed off with three members of the military who were injured in combat, now let's talk about "adversity." He seemed humbled and appreciative of the group as he posed for a picture with them.

Even though Mullen has probably been through some of the worst personal experiences a human can endure, he still felt like any other person who would be teeing off next to one of the best and most popular players in the world.

"I'm really excited and really nervous because I don't know what to expect," Mullen said. "I'm just hoping to get out there, play well and enjoy the day."

Mullen's road to recovery is always ongoing, he said. Wednesday was a day he could put all of his worries to the side and just enjoy the day on the course. A day he'll probably remember for a while.

We salute you, Jonathan Mullen. Hit 'em straight and good luck on your road to recovery.


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