Foxhills set for 30th PGA Cup

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PGA Cup trio - Adam Keogh, DJ Russell (Captain), Simon Thornton and Greig Hutcheon who qualified at PGA National Slieve Russell

Both Great Britain & Ireland and the United States will wear black ribbons this week as they prepare to face each other in the 30th PGA Cup matches which will be held at Foxhills Club & Resort, Surrey from 16-18th September, 2022.

The hosts will be led by former European Tour player and ex-Ryder Cup Vice Captain David (DJ) Russell, while the America Captain is Suzy Whaley, who in 2018 became the first woman elected to serve as President of the PGA of America.

The event is seen as the pinnacle for any PGA Professional as both teams go head-to-head in a Ryder Cup format to win The Llandudno International Trophy.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career in golf, and this is very much a high point in my career,” said David Russell, whose son Chris will serve as Vice Captain. “I’m honoured to be Captain of Great Britain & Ireland in a PGA Cup.

“It’s a massive honour anyway, but particularly with what’s gone on over the last few days. Queen Elizabeth II has always been around for us, so from a personal point of view it’s almost like losing your grandmother or the grand-figure in your family.”

“It’s a tremendous honour to serve as United States Captain for the 30th PGA Cup, as we come together at a magnificent venue to celebrate the game of golf,” said Whaley. “We’re certainly aware of the formidable challenge we will face from another talented GB&I squad and the difficulty that comes with winning on foreign soil.”

The teams

The Great Britain & Ireland team contains two Irish players in Simon Thornton and David Higgins and no fewer than seven debutants along with PGA stalwarts who will provide much-needed experience at Foxhills Club & Resort.

Matthew Cort (Beedles Lake Golf Club) – Played in PGA Cup 2017 & 2019 (6-3-0)
David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) – Played in 2017 (3-1-1) Vice-Captain 2019
Greig Hutcheon (Torphins Golf Club) – Played in 2013 & 2017 (3-4-1)
Adam Keogh (Woodhall Spa Golf Club) – Debut
Simon Lilly (Wellingborough Golf Club) – Debut
Ashley Mansell (Clevedon Golf Club) – Debut
Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills Golf Range) – Debut
James Ruth (China Fleet Golf & Country Club) – Debut
Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort) – Debut
Daniel Whitby-Smith (Drayton Park Golf Club) – Debut

The United States team contains five rookies as they bid to win for the first time in Great Britain & Ireland since 2009.

Alex Beach (Stillwater, Minnesota) – Played in 2019 PGA Cup (2-2-0)
Frank Bensel Jr. (Jupiter, Florida) – Debut
Michael Block  (Mission Viejo, California) – Played in 2015 PGA Cup (3-1-0)
Larkin Gross (Center Cross, Virginia) – Debut 
Jared Jones (Houston) – Debut
Jesse Mueller (Phoenix) – Debut
Ben Polland (Jackson, Wyoming) – Played in 2015 PGA Cup (0-3-2)
Omar Uresti (Austin, Texas) – Played in 2015 & 2017 PGA Cups (4-1-3)
Ryan Vermeer (Omaha, Nebraska) – Played in 2019 PGA Cup (3-2-0)
Wyatt Worthington II (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) – Debut

The venue

Foxhills Club & Resort will make PGA Cup history this week when it becomes only the second venue in the tournament’s 49-year history to host the matches twice, following the lead of 2006 Ryder Cup host venue The K Club in Ireland (1992 and 2005).

Foxhills is an award-winning hotel and country club and widely regarded as Surrey’s leading country club and resort.

Surrounded by Scots pine, beech and silver birch, the Longcross is consistently ranked one of the top 100 golf courses in England.

PGA Cup history

The PGA Cup was first played at Pinehurst (North Carolina) Country Club in 1973, with the Americans winning the first match comfortably 13-3.

GB&I notched their first PGA Cup win 1978 with a 10½ – 6½ victory at St Mellion, but overall the history books make grim reading from a British and Irish standpoint with the Americans winning 18 times compared t0 GB&I’s seven, while there have been four draws.

CLICK HERE to read more about the history of The PGA Cup.

As well as bragging rights and a name in the history books, the coveted prize up for grabs this week to the winners of the 30th PGA Cup matches is a trophy steeped in history.

The trophy began as humble beginnings as an 18-pound silverware prize for the Home Tournament Series, a tournament comprising of the leading professionals of the day in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

The first and only match was played in 1939 and England, captained by six-time Ryder Cup player Percy Alliss, triumphed to hoist the trophy and because of the outbreak of the Second World War, the tournament never resumed.

As winning captain, Percy retained possession of the trophy and kept it proudly at his family home where it survived the War and remained until the early 1970s when Percy and his son Peter, the former PGA Captain, eight-time Ryder Cup player and the BBC’s Voice of Golf, donated the trophy to The PGA where it was assigned as an appropriate prize for the victorious PGA Cup team.

CLICK HERE to read more about the history of the Llandudno International Trophy.

The 2022 PGA Cup gets underway on Friday 16th September, 2022.

CLICK HERE to follow live scoring from Foxhills.

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