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Injured servicemen, veterans to participate in second annual Simpson Cup

August 30, 2013

Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England— Ian Bishop, a former Royal Marine Corporal who lost both legs above the knee when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan in February 2009, is living proof of the power of golf.

Since suffering such devastating injuries, he has found a new purpose in life through the On Course Foundation, a charity that offers injured servicemen the opportunity to learn golf and supports their transition to civilian life by offering work experience and employment opportunities. Ian now works in the golf industry, plays every week and will captain Team GB in the second staging of the Simpson Cup on September 22-25.

The Simpson Cup is a unique event that will challenge 13 injured servicemen and veterans from the UK against their American counterparts in a Ryder Cup style tournament over the challenging links course at Lytham, a venue that has hosted the Open Championship ten times.

The event is named after the founder of the On Course Foundation, John Simpson, former manager of Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman and many others. John created the foundation to help injured servicemen, women and veterans get back on track, both via golf itself and jobs in the golf industry.

“The match and the events leading up to it are key aspects of the On Course Foundation’s program, which builds confidence in the wounded service personnel as they face new challenges in their lives. Most importantly we aim to give these men and women opportunities for the future via work experience and employment opportunities in the golf industry” said Simpson. “The Simpson Cup gives these determined and focused men and women something to work towards - a real target. It also helps raise awareness and funds for the On Course Foundation on both sides of the Atlantic.”

"Royal Lytham is delighted to be hosting the Simpson Cup following the success of the inaugural event at TPC Sawgrass last year.” said Charles Grimley, Secretary at Royal Lytham & St Annes. “The Club is used to hosting high profile Championships and the Simpson Cup is a great addition to our illustrious event history. Our Members are very much looking forward to welcoming the competitors in September for what promises to be a superb event.”

With the support of the R&A, PGA TOUR and the backing of two patrons in HRH The Duke of York and Arnold Palmer, the On Course Foundation is aiming to help many more deserving individuals in the future.

John McAfee, who works as a National Liaison Officer for the US foundation, is a case in point. McAfee, from Florida, is a former member of the 101st Airborne Division, who was injured three times in combat, is relishing the opportunity of helping his fellow injured Servicemen and veterans through the game of golf; “these warriors face a daunting challenge as they transition out of the military, and the On Course foundation provides them with a new avenue many of them never even considered.” John is one of the 13 members of Team USA who will be hoping to bring the Simpson Cup back to their side of the Atlantic after suffering a heavy defeat at TPC Sawgrass 2012.

Three-time Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, who will be attending as honorary Captain for Team GB, has sent his congratulations to the selected players “I have been fortunate enough to play with the beneficiaries of the On Course Foundation on several occasions, and I am always hugely impressed by their drive to overcome such adversity. The Simpson Cup provides these impressive men and women with an excellent target to work towards. I would like to send my congratulations to all the players and I look forward to meeting them in September.”

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