CBS golf analyst and Golf Magazine columnist David Feherty turned briefly serious and emotional Tuesday as he officially became a U.S. citizen at the new Citizenship and Immigration Building in Irving, Texas.
Feherty, a Northern Ireland native who moved to the Dallas area in the late 1990s, bypassed the wisecracks that have made him famous, saying he was honored and humbled to finally become an American citizen.
Early Tuesday morning, Feherty, who is off this week from his CBS duties, had to pass the citizenship test. Then he was one of two dozen new citizens to take the oath of allegiance to his new country. He was one of the few people selected to talk to his fellow new citizens about what becoming an American meant.
After the official ceremony, Feherty, 51, was surprised by his wife, Anita, with a party. The participants included longtime friend and golf legend Tom Watson and several wounded combat veterans. Feherty has been active in supporting charities that help wounded soldiers, including organizing golf tournaments and traveling to Iraq with other golfers.
Several of the wounded soldiers came down from Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside of Washington, and others came in from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
Watson, Feherty and long-drive champion Art Sellinger have all been to Iraq together to visit the U.S. troops.
"It was a very special and emotional day for David and all of us," said Sellinger. "You know how passionate he is about our military. All of his special friends were there, and it is no secret how close he and Tom are."
A native of Bangor, Northern Ireland, Feherty played on the 1991 European Ryder Cup team and was a regular on the European Tour, where he won several times.
The highlight of the celebration lunch came when some of the wounded soldiers presented their friend with a folded American flag that had flown over a U.S. base that Feherty had visited in Iraq.