Miller native and Sioux Falls golfer/lawyer Pat Schroeder was in Chicago in September, doing one of the things he likes best…playing golf.
He represented the U.S. and Canada in the Fightmaster Cup. It’s a Ryder Cup format for the top one-armed golfers in North America and Europe, who play every two years in the same venue as the Ryder Cup.
The tournament is played between one-armed golfers from the North American One-Armed Golfer Association, formed in 2000, and the Society of One-Armed Golfers, formed in 1932, and based in Glasgow, England.
It is considered a team event, and the winner is one of the two continental organizations, not individual players.
The inaugural meeting was held in 2008 just prior to the Ryder Cup. The Fightmaster competition is held every two years. It is named after Don Fightmaster, described by Time Magazine as “an Arnold Palmer of the one-armed-golf world.”
Schroeder lost his left arm at the age of five in a grain auger accident. But his grandpa and his parents golfed, so he spent a lot of time at the golf course.
His parents always encouraged him, and the former Miller Rustler became an all-around athlete, and quite a golf player.
He graduated from USD in 1976. Now 58, Schroeder commented, “There’s always somebody worse off, number one, and number two, there’s always a way to get something done.”
Schroeder was honored to be selected as a captain’s pick in the Fightmaster Cup. Said Schroeder, “It’s jokingly referred to as the one-armed Ryder Cup because it’s the same exact format and it’s 12 players from North America versus 12 one-armed players from Europe.”
Although Team Europe won this year’s competition, it was good fun. And it was an event Schroeder says he will never forget.
PAT SCHROEDER would be a formidable golfer under any circumstances, but as a one-armed golfer, his skill is even more impressive. That skill earned him a place on the U.S.-Canada team in the Fightmaster Cup.