Major champion and 2008 Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger to reprise role as honorary chairman
The Amateur Golf Alliance (AGA) and The Concession Cup proudly announced today that record-holding 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, the most successful and celebrated British player of his generation, will reprise their roles as honorary captains for the third installment of the biennial amateur team match-play competition.
The 2018 Concession Cup is April 16 – 21 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, the award-winning course and club that was inspired by one of sports’ most-heralded acts of sportsmanship. Known throughout history as “The Concession,” it was at the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, when Nicklaus conceded a 2-foot putt to Jacklin in the final singles match that led to the first tie in the history of the matches. It only seemed fitting that this prestigious amateur team event be named in honor of that iconic moment and help perpetuate its legacy.
As part of their roles as Honorary Captains, Nicklaus and Jacklin, World Golf Hall of Fame members, will be featured guests at the event’s Opening Celebration on Tuesday, April 17. The Concession Cup Opening Celebration will be a special night of commemoration and philanthropy, giving attendees the opportunity to recognize The Concession Cup’s contribution to amateur golf and participate in an occasion that raises funds for charity.
The Concession Cup was created to celebrate amateur golf through the staging of a goodwill match-play competition. The event was also created to provide financial benefit to various worthy charities within the Bradenton / Tampa / St. Petersburg area and beyond. Since its inception in 2014 the event has generated over $414,000 for charitable causes.
“We are at a wonderful and important time in the game of golf, where we are all investing time and energy into initiatives that help grow this great game,” Nicklaus said. “I think the world of professional golf is in tremendous shape, with a deluge of talented young players mixed with some of the great names of the last 20 or 25 years. But I think we all need to direct more of our focus on the amateur game, and any efforts to celebrate it and promote it. The Concession Cup is an ideal example of that. By bringing together some of the top amateurs from the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland in a competitive event—one built on good will and sportsmanship—is a wonderful showcase of the game and what makes it so uniquely special.”
“I am honored to again join my friend Tony Jacklin to serve as an Honorary Captain. And again, my wife Barbara and I are delighted that the game of golf is again stepping up for charity and that funds raised by the Concession Cup will go to a number of deserving causes, including the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.”
“I am delighted to be returning to The Concession Cup in 2018,” Jacklin said. “It is a wonderful and unique tournament championing amateur golf. It is something I am very proud to be a part of with my close friend Jack and it is incredibly special that the course we co-designed will once again play host. Knowing that my chosen charity, Rainbows Hospice in the UK, is a benefactor of The Concession Cup adds a personal element to the event for me and my family. Rainbows do fantastic work across the Midlands in England providing respite care for families whose children have life limiting illnesses. As their ambassador, it is events like The Concession Cup that allow me to spread the word about the selfless work being done at Rainbows. I wish all the amateurs well for the event, including both captains, and hope for a Great Britain and Ireland victory!”
Tournament officials also announced today that Concession Golf Club member, Paul Azinger will return as the event’s Honorary Chairman. Azinger won the 1993 PGA Championship and he served as captain of the victorious 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., another celebrated Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
“Amateur golf has always been the cornerstone of our great game,” said Azinger. “I am so proud to again be associated with The Concession Cup which shines a light on elite amateur golf and provides needed funds for some very deserving charities. I am especially excited to reprise my role as Honorary Chairman. The Tuesday evening Opening Celebration with Jack and Tony never disappoints. It is a special privilege to serve as honorary chairman and I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to support the event and the Club.”
The Concession, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course designed in association with Tony Jacklin, is a nationally ranked course and club with ownership and a membership that has a history of celebrating competitive golf in its purest form. The Concession Cup is an extension of that passion.
“We’re thrilled to again have the support of Jack, Tony and Paul for this year’s Concession Cup,” said Bruce Cassidy Sr., owner of The Concession Golf Club. “What a tremendous statement of strength it is to have these gentlemen agree to champion our tournament for a third consecutive time. Their participation increased the profile of this tremendously successful event in 2014 and 2016, and I’m confident it will have the same effect this year as we celebrate the spirit of amateur golf, April 16-21 at The Concession.”
The Concession Cup will deliver a world-class experience for its participants, sponsors, volunteers, attendees and members of The Concession Golf Club while showcasing top amateur golfers from the U.S. and GB&I in the true spirit, character and competitiveness of amateur golf, all for the benefit of charity.
Players will compete over three days through the traditional team match-play formats of foursome, fourball and singles. Each team will be comprised of 14 players separated into three categories: six (6) Mid-Am members (age 25 to 54), six (6) Senior members age 55 and older and two (2) Senior members age 65 and older.
The U.S. Team won the Concession Cup title in 2014 and then retained the Sir Michael Bonallack and William Campbell Trophy in 2016 with a dominant 29 to 7 victory over the GB&I Team.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
MONDAY, APRIL 16
o Practice Rounds
Competitors from both the U.S. and the GB&I teams will arrive Monday, April 16th and will practice on the competition course, as a team, over Monday and Tuesday. The teams will utilize the practice rounds to become familiar with the course and their respective teammates.
TUESDAY, APRIL 17
o Practice Rounds
o The Concession Cup Opening Celebration
The evening of Tuesday, April 17th will be a special night for all in attendance. The Opening Celebration will feature a number of special guests from the world of golf. In addition, team members from both the U.S. and GB&I will be recognized through a team presentation. The evening will be available for sponsors and supporters to attend and perhaps most importantly will benefit worthy charities.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18
o The Concession Cup Am / Am
The Concession Cup Am/Am will provide an opportunity for sponsor representatives and individual supporters the chance to play the tournament course with the competitors from both the U.S. and GB&I teams.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19
o The Concession Cup, Day 1 – Foursome Matches
The first day of the competition will feature seven (7) foursome matches. Three (3) matches will feature teams consisting of two (2) Mid Ams, three (3) matches will feature teams consisting of two (2) Senior Ams and one (1) match will feature teams consisting of two (2) Super Seniors.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20
o The Concession Cup, Day 2 – Fourball Matches
The second day of competition will feature seven (7) fourball matches on Friday morning. Three (3) matches will feature teams consisting of two Mid Ams, three (3) matches will feature teams consisting of two (2) Senior Ams and one (1) match will feature teams consisting of two (2) Super Seniors.
SATURDAY, APRIL 21
o The Concession Cup, Day 3 – Singles Matches
o Concession Cup Closing Ceremony
The third and final day of competition will feature 14 singles matches. The singles competition is comprised of one player from each team in match play competition. Immediately following play the closing ceremonies will be held at The Concession Golf Club.
For questions concerning sponsorship opportunities and general tournament information please, call (614) 764-GOLF or visit www.concessioncup.com.
About The Concession Golf Club
The Concession Golf Club was founded to commemorate the extraordinary gesture of sportsmanship that Jack Nicklaus made at the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale when he conceded a two-foot putt to Britain’s Tony Jacklin to halve their match, which resulted in the first-ever tie in the history of the matches. The moment became known as “the concession.”
The course is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course designed in association with Tony Jacklin. In 2015, The Concession Golf Club was the home to both the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships.
The Concession Golf Club was voted by Golf Digest as the Best New Private Course in the United States in 2006, and currently is ranked by Golf Digest as the fourth best golf course in Florida.
About the Amateur Golf Alliance
The Amateur Golf Alliance was established to conduct the Concession Cup Matches, as well as other events in an effort to promote the Amateur game at the highest level of competition. The alliance will confer with the U.S. captain in the selection of Concession Cup Captain’s picks. The Alliance board includes Bob Ford, Nathan Smith, Barry Van Gerbig, Jerry Tarde, Jack Vardaman, Bruce Cassidy Jr., Vinny Giles, Bill Argabrite, Rob Addington, Andrew Biggadike, Jim Nugent, Jack Druga, David Leadbetter, George Marucci, James Bunch and Alan Fadel. For more information about the Amateur Golf Alliance, visit www.amateurgolfalliance.org.