WASHINGTON — Rory Sabbatini brought some battlefield inspiration to professional golf this week, wearing military-issued camouflage pants during the first round of The Players Championship on Thursday.

The outfit was designed to bring awareness to coalition troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

PGA Tour officials said Sabbatini, a South African, is the first competitor to make such a statement during a tour event.

Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour, said when Sabbatini teed off on the first hole Thursday, hundreds of spectators cheered.

“Jacksonville is obviously a big Navy town, and this even has always had a love affair with the military,” he said. “It was really a great reaction from the crowd showing that.”

The trousers had to be approved by tour officials, who oversee the attire and decorum of all competitors.

“One of the most important assets of our tour is our style and look,” Hughes said. “But obviously we felt this was something important and wanted to work with him.”

Sabbatini announced he would donate $250 for every birdie and $1,000 for every eagle to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides financial aid to families of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

The 28-year-old made three birdies and no eagles Thursday and shot 3-over 75.

Hughes called Sabatini “a great ambassador for our tour.”

Sabbatini’s pants will be donated to the World Golf Hall of Fame following the tournament. Hall officials said they will display the pants throughout the year to continue to raise awareness about troops’ sacrifices and the fund.

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