Veteran and disabled golfer Larry Celano set to compete in inaugural US Adaptive Open Championship

PHOENIX – “Win, lose or draw, I want to go out there and have three regular rounds,” said golfer Larry Celano. “If they’re not good enough to win, they’re not good enough to win, but I’ll be happy with myself. because I have already won.”

Although it took a long time, decades in fact, for Celano to find himself in this position. A position of gratitude, despite its limitations suffered years ago.

“Since my injury, I’ve been waiting for something to boost my competition,” said Celano. “The last three years have been great, but that’s the icing on the cake.”

At just 19 years old, Celano was shot and partially paralyzed during the US invasion of Panama on December 22, 1989. At that point, his life changed forever.

“I started to realize that my walking days were over,” Celano said. “I just sat there and just cried that I could never walk again. I don’t know what I was going to do and I was. I had a big support system, and if you don’t support system, I don’t know how I could have gotten out of it.

Day after day, Celano picked up the pieces as he faced the reality of what his New life involved.

“Once that ball catches you,” Celano said. “It’s life changing for sure, but it’s how you react to it.”

And he reacted. Celano continued the game of golf and that’s when everything started to slowly change. The process included a wide range of trial and error, but with the help of his coach, his game continued to improve.

“I know my swing looks goofy and funny and awful, but it’s effective,” Celano said. .”

The hard work paid off as Celano competed at a high level eventually winning his first Veteran’s Golf Association tournament. Now he has his sights set on the US Adaptive Open Championship grand prix at Pinehurst.

“33 years ago I defended the country,” said Celano. “Now in July I will be playing for the national championship. It’s tears, it’s joy, but it’s been a long time coming and it’s here.”

While his passion lies in the game of golf, Celano also recognizes the impact of his story stopped the lesson.

“We’re just going out there to show others you can do it and give you hope and inspiration to let go and go out there and do what you love to do.”

If you would like to make a donation for his next trip, Click here.

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