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« Back Post Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Meet Team USA captain Mike Stafford
The Americans will be led by Mike Stafford at the Simpson Cup at St Andrew's Links in May. Here we get to know him a little better...

1. Tell us who you are outside of the Simpson Cup. How would you describe yourself?
Outside the Simpson Cup, I am described as a dependable, easy-going kind of guy who enjoys helping others and is fun to be around. I believe in the Golden Rule; respecting others and doing my best. I can joke around and be funny or easily become Mr. Serious when push comes to shove.

2. Would you be willing to share with us your experiences in the military, and also the events that led to your injury? 
I served in the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 155th Brigade, where I drove, loaded, gunned , and commanded a M1A1 Abram Tank. I had been out of service nearly 5 years prior to September 11, 2001. After my unit was called up, I re-enlisted for a tour in Iraq. I was serving with a civil affairs unit, when on August 8, 2005 our unit went under attack. I was driving the Humvee through a firefight, when I drove over a pressure plate IED. The blast blew off my left leg below the knee. While in the driver’s seat, I applied my own tourniquet and prayed for a miracle. I recovered at Walter Reed Medical Center, where I was awarded a Purple Heart and subsequently, medically retired. 

3. How did your involvement with the On Course Foundation begin? 
I got involved with the Simpson Cup in 2012, when it was held at TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then I have tried to qualify each year. After learning what the Simpson Cup/On Course Foundation was about, it meant more to me because it was benefitting wounded men and women that fought and sacrificed for our freedom.

4. Had you played golf before the On Course Foundation, and the Simpson Cup? Tell us what the game of golf means to you? 
I had played golf 10 years before my injury in 2005. However, I never took it as seriously as I have since I got injured in Iraq. It’s all about the competition and love of the game.

5. Tell us about your best moment in the Simpson Cup so far? 
My fondest memory was helping secure the win at Congressional Country Club in 2014, but my proudest moment is having the honor of being the Captain of Team USA for 2019.

6. Lastly, tell us what it means to you to be leading your team out in the Simpson Cup this year? 
Having proudly accepted my role as Co-Captain for the 2019 Team USA, I was shocked and honored to be voted in as Captain. I hope to use my years of participation and gained knowledge to lead my comrades to another victory. With all the new talent this year, I want to help make the 2019 Simpson Cup as memorable an experience for them as my first year was for me. This opportunity is truly an honor.

Player to look out for this year: With such an impressive squad representing Team USA, it is impossible to pick just one player. All I can say is that Team UK needs to come prepared to fight for the trophy.
Teammate with worst fashion sense: Not sure if there is a clear winner in this category, but I will say that I often second-guess my outfit choices!
Teammate with best sense of humour: I’ve grown to enjoy Todd Tongue’s brutal honesty and dry sense of humor.
Favourite sports team: I’ve proudly been sporting red and gold representing my San Francisco 49ers since childhood.
Childhood Hero: From childhood into my adult years, I can proudly say that my father is my hero.
Favourite Food: I am a huge fan of seafood, but if I had to pick just one, it would be oysters of the half shell.
Favourite Drink: Like every true Southerner, I love a good, cold glass of sweet tea.
Favourite Band: With timeless classics such as ‘Light my Fire’ and ‘Riders on the Storm’ I would have to say The Doors top my list.