What’s in a name?
The tournament owes its name to the CJ Group, a leading South Korean holding company that has emerged in recent years as a prominent backer of professional golf.
But that’s just for starters.
There’s more to the story, because the same title sponsor of the CJ Cup is now helping boost the amateur game.
From Oct. 24-26, that support will give rise to the inaugural Bridges Cup presented by CJ Group and 8AM Golf, a 16-vs-16 team competition that pits top amateurs from the United States against a squad of amateurs from overseas in a Ryder Cup-style competition. (8AM Golf is GOLF.com’s holding company.) The competitors hail from the world’s most prestigious clubs and were selected based on their robust golf resumes, many of which include appearances in USGA events and even major championships.
In a fitting bit of symmetry, the event will take place at Nine Bridges, on JeJu Island, Korea, where the CJ Cup was born five years ago and to which it will return in 2023.
Built in 2001 with input from Benton Marsh, Augusta National’s director of agronomy, Nine Bridges is known for its impeccable conditions on a routing etched through a pine-clad landscape ornamented by creeks and lakes. It ranks 93rd on GOLF’s list of Top 100 Courses in the World and is the top-rated course in Korea.
Nine Bridges hosted the first three iterations of the CJ Cup before the event moved to the U.S. in response to Covid-imposed travel restrictions. In those three playings, the world’s top pros hailed Nine Bridges for its challenge.
Now, 32 top amateurs will get a crack.
The two 16-player teams have been chosen by their respective captains, Hoyt McGarity for the U.S. and Simon Holt for the international squad.
“Working with CJ Group to bring this tournament to life has been a thrill,” said McGarity, who is 8AM Golf’s president. “We all know what CJ Group has done for the PGA Tour and it’s no surprise they’re bringing that same level of passion to the amateur game. I’ve been to a lot of amateur tournaments, and this is one of the most premier events I’ve been a part of.”
The Bridges Cup will kick off Oct. 24 with a practice round and opening ceremony, followed by morning four-ball and afternoon foursomes sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The winning team will claim possession of a trophy that will be displayed at Nine Bridges.