On Sunday, August 11, 2019, CBS Sports welcomed surviving family of US Navy PO3 Michael Vecchio to THE NORTHERN TRUST golf tournament at Liberty National in New Jersey. The family was given a production tour and ride out to the 18th Tower. They also had the opportunity to see the behind the scenes and what it takes to put golf on the air. The Vecchio family really enjoyed being behind the scenes experience, while the on-air talent prepared for their commentary.
This event was created through the partnership of CBS Sports and T.A.P.S (Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors), and with the support of CBS Veterans Network. “We are so grateful for the support that the team has provided to our military surviving families and look forward to future opportunities to work [together] to create special moments for them in honor of their loved ones.”, says Leigh Edmonds, Manager, Sports & Entertainment, T.A.P.S
Michael’s Golf Story
(Written by his parents, Carol & Michael Vecchio):
Michael spent a lot of time with his father and they had many shared moments doing all kinds of sports and activities together. Michael's love for sports included the game of golf. When he was only 5 years old his father told him, "Michael you're going to learn how to play golf." Michael replied,”Why daddy?" Then his father replied, "Because I'm not going to be able to snowboard forever and when I get older I will still be able to play golf and it’s something that we can do together." So, for 2 years they would get to the driving range from time to time to hone his skills. At the age of 7, Michael started playing a round of golf, holding his own and keeping up with the adults. His memory was exceptional and he remembered the names of many of the other players that he was grouped with. He was particularly charming and many adults that played with him equally enjoyed their time with this young energetic golfer. Although the intramural sports had faded from his activities list, as he grew older, golf was a game he continued to play. Even as a teenager, his father would set up hula hoops in the backyard and they would putt golf balls for quick practice. Days before his death, he called his father to let him know that he was going to play a round with his shipmates at the course on base in Jacksonville, Florida. He had encouraged the other sailors (who never played before) to try it out. His father was sure he made it fun for them as he never took the game seriously and only played for fun. Just a few days after this conversation, Michael's story took a tragic and unexpected end on Saturday, April 15th, 2017, when he had an accident on the highway with his motorcycle and lost his life.