Local military hero to compete in Warrior Open golf tourney

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PHOENIX -- Known as "Ski" to his friends, Brian Donarski is a hero.

During his deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Donarski was injured -- practically from head to toe -- by a roadside bomb. Those extensive injuries kept him in Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital for more than a year, but they didn't keep him down.

He went on to complete combat tours in Afghanistan and with the Combined Joint Operations.

After 15 years of service, Donarski was accepted to Officer Candidate School an received his commission as a lieutenant om April 23, 2009 and assigned to the Military Intelligence Branch.

Now he's tackling a new challenge.

The Warrior Open is a 36-hole competition that will honor all those who serve and sacrifice to defend the United States of America. There are 22 golfers taking part.

"I'm utilizing golf as a tool to help me deal with my combat injuries," Donarski told 3TV's Scott Pasmore Tuesday morning. "We're just setting the example for other so they will press on," he said of his fellow golfers.

To qualify for the tournament, servicemen and women must have been seriously injured in the war on terror, be active-duty, retired or honorably discharged, have a verifiable golf handicap of 20 or less and play five rounds at one course with another player willing to verify the score.

This is the second year in a row that Donarski has qualified. Last year he finished in a tie for third with a score of 165, 12 behind the winner.

Hosted by The Bush Center, the tournament is Sept. 24-25 at the Las Colinas Country Club in Dallas.