When the 2017 Presidents Cup begins in less than two weeks, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, several ceremonial elements will take place on the No. 1 tee to help commemorate the start of the matches on Thursday, September 28.
The Presidents Cup – a team, match-play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers, will be held at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, September 26-October 1.
At 12:30 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, 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. “The men and women of the Jersey City Police, Fire, NY/NJ Port Authority Police and JCMC EMS stand proud and are honored to represent every public safety department from the United States of America, both professional and volunteer, at the Presidents Cup to commemorate the start of this international competition and the goodwill it represents,” said Chief Steven J. McGill of Jersey City Fire Department. “We’re humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of this event and bring attention to the efforts of all our brother and sister police, fire and EMS first responders from every nation who give of their lives – as Captain Mark Lee did - to make this world a safer place.”
“I’m really proud to be performing the National Anthem at this year’s Presidents Cup,” said Rucker. “For me, this is one of the most exciting golf events, and I’m looking forward to cheering on the U.S. Team!"