The PGA TOUR is pleased to announce that for the first time in history, three former U.S. Presidents and Honorary Chairmen of the Presidents Cup will attend the event. On Thursday, September 28, President Bill Clinton (Honorary Chairman in 2000); President George W. Bush (Honorary Chairman in 2005); and President Barack Obama (Honorary Chairman in 2011, 2013) will attend the ceremonial elements on the No. 1 tee to commemorate the start of the matches.
The last time more than one former President attended the event was in 2005, when former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush were present at the matches held at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia.
The Presidents Cup – a team, match-play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers, is being held this week at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.
As previously announced, at approximately 12:40 p.m. ET (just prior to the first foursomes match at 1:05 p.m.), members of the “Finest & Bravest” will process onto the first tee to begin the ceremony. Honor Guards from the Jersey City Police FOP, Jersey City Fire Department, NY/NJ Port Authority Police Department and Jersey City Medical Center Emergency Medical Service will lead the procession. This Joint Public Safety Honor Guard will proudly display the flags of each country represented at the Presidents Cup. Pipe & Drum bands from Jersey City Firefighters Emerald Society, New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police and Jersey City Police Departments will perform.
Among those honored at the ceremony will be Captain Mark Lee Sr., from the Jersey City Fire Department Engine Co 10, who passed away on May 9, 2014. His passing was a Line of Duty Death, due to respiratory disease directly related to his efforts at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Captain Lee’s widow, Cheryl Lee, and son Mark Lee Jr., who is now a firefighter on the Jersey City Fire Department at Engine Co 10, will lead the procession with the Presidents Cup, positioning it on the back of the first tee to officially open the event.
Following the procession, Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Darius Rucker will lead the crowd in the singing of the National Anthem as the excitement begins to build for the first match. Fans around No. 1 tee – where the build-out includes stadium seating for 1,300 – will also be entertained by customized songs for the U.S. and International Teams by the energetic “We The People” and “Fanatics” fan squads, respectively.
Willie Geist, Host of NBC’s “Sunday Today” and co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” will serve as emcee of the program and then announce each foursomes match for the afternoon. Dignitaries scheduled to take in the opening ceremony will include past Presidents Cup Captains David Graham, Jay Haas, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player; former PGA TOUR Commissioners Deane Beman and Tim Finchem; and current PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.