August 18, 2004, was a hot summer day. While professional golfer Phil Mickelson was shooting a round of golf as part of the PGA Tour, Army Specialist Russell "Kyle" Burleson was living in a very different world, perched on top of an Army HumVee in Sadr City, Iraq, putting his life on the line.
Little did either know that soon the two different worlds would meet.
A winner of 29 PGA Tour events since his debut in 1992, including three major championships since 2004, Phil Mickelson is putting his golf skills to work for veterans and their families through a program called "Birdies for the Brave." It's a special giving program started by Phil in 2004, and this year it's become an official charity of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Charities Inc.
In golf, a "birdie" means playing a hole at one stroke under par. That's a rare feat for weekend golfers, but not unusual on the pro tour. Under Birdies for the Brave, people everywhere can go to the pgatour.com website (or www.birdiesforthebrave.org) and pledge to make a charitable donation of whatever size they choose every time Phil scores a birdie or …