On Monday the Simpson Cup headed to the East Course for the traditional Player/Sponsor Day, which represents a wonderful opportunity for the sponsors - who have given so generously to this event - to get a first-hand experience of the great cause they are supporting.
Indeed, for the players, it is one of the great privileges of the week too. No one is as acutely aware as they are that the exponential growth and rapid development of the Simpson Cup simply wouldn't be possible without the tremendous contributions from these sponsors, and it makes for great viewing to witness the fun that is had as these folks from all walks of life enjoy each other's company for a day.
While enjoyment is the main priority, there is of course a competition too; in the form of a 5-ball Scramble. This year though, it has taken on an altogether new dimension.
Dave Bagby, who represented Team USA at the 2015 Simpson Cup at Royal St George's Golf Club, was again selected for this year's event at Oak Hill. However, he sadly received the news recently that he had cancer, and that it had subsequently spread to numerous parts of his body.
Although it had become obvious Mr Bagby would be unable to compete, he had hoped to be present for the Oak Hill showpiece this week. Tragically though, less than a fortnight before the tournament was due to begin, he passed away at the age of 57.
Mr Bagby's loss is one earnestly felt by his teammates, and everyone associated with the Simpson Cup, and he was a hugely popular figure among his peers. However, to commemorate his life, the Player/Sponsor Day will now be played in his honour, and the first members of the Simpson Cup fraternity to lift the Dave Bagby Memorial Trophy was the group led by Team GB veteran Andy Stevens, along with playing partners Matt Severski, Tim Spitz, Digby Clements and Dan Loughran. They posted a remarkable score of 15-under par (with everyone playing off scratch), but astonishingly only won via a tiebreaker, edging out the team spearheaded by Team USA's Chris Hall.
A cocktail and dinner reception rounded off a great day of laughter and fun, and many a lasting friendship was made under the delightful Rochester sun. However, for the players, who now have a practice round at both the West and East Course at Oak Hill under their belts, things get down to business tomorrow as day one of the official Simpson Cup gets under way with the four balls starting at 8am EDT.
Based on the quality of golf on display over the last two days, there can be no doubt that a titanic, epic contest awaits once these two teams lock horns, and do their utmost to win the Cup which means so much to all of them. This one will go down to the wire folks, and these guys will leave it all out on the course as they do their best for their respective nations on Tuesday and Wednesday. What a fitting way that will be to honour Mr Bagby's memory.
(Please note: You can keep track of the live scoring on Tuesday and Wednesday here.)