On the back of the 146th Open Championship, Royal Birkdale Golf Club will be adding to its impressive armoury of golfing events by playing host to the prestigious Simpson Cup, which will be staged at the Southport course from 24-27th September 2017.
The annual competition, now in its sixth edition since the inaugural event at TPC Sawgrass in 2012, pits 13 injured servicemen and veterans from the United States against their British counterparts in a Ryder Cup-style tournament that raises funds and awareness for the On Course Foundation – a charitable organisation which is registered in both the USA and the UK.
All competitors involved are members of the Foundation, which helps men and women who were injured, sick or wounded in the line of duty rebuild their lives; both through being given the opportunity to play the game, and attaining employment in the golf industry.
Team USA will arrive at Royal Birkdale as the defending champions, having lured the Cup away from Great Britain at Oak Hill last year. It added to Team USA’s previous triumph in 2014 at Congressional, although it is the Brits who hold the overall lead with wins at Sawgrass, Lytham and Royal St George’s.
The tournament is named after its founder, John Simpson, former Senior Vice-President of International Management Group (IMG). Simpson, who himself only has one fully-functioning leg as a result of suffering polio as a child, is also the Chairman and Founder of the On Course Foundation, and has managed players such as Sir Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Vijay Singh and Bernhard Langer.
“I am truly humbled that the Simpson Cup will be taking place at such an historic and glorious course,” Simpson commented. “The recent Open Championship is still fresh in our minds, and Birkdale raised the bar, drawing in record crowds, and attracting widespread acclaim for its superb layout.
“The competition, and the events leading up to it, encapsulate what the On Course Foundation is all about, and giving these incredible veterans the opportunity to shape their futures, both in terms of playing golf and building a sustainable career, is the very least they deserve.”