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Cardinal Club to host 'one-arm' golf cup as part of Ryder Cup events

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By Walt Reichert

The Cardinal Club in Simpsonville will host the Humana Fightmaster Cup golf tournament Sept. 12-14. The event is held as part of activities surrounding the prestigious Ryder Cup scheduled for Sept. 16-21 at Valhalla Golf Club.

The announcement came Monday at the Humana Building in Louisville.

Karl Schmitt, executive director of the Cup Experience, the host organization for the Ryder Cup events, said the Fightmaster Cup is one of several community-wide events going on in conjunction with the Ryder Cup.

"The mayor (Jerry Abramson) is basically looking for something that will be like the festival events and activities that precede the Derby," Schmitt said.

The Fightmaster Cup will be an international event featuring play between the Louisville-based North American One-Arm Golfer Association (NAOAGA) and Team European sponsored by the United Kingdom-based Society of One-Armed Golfers. Each association will field 12 golfers and a captain. The European golfers are from England, Scotland and Ireland and are led by Malcolm Guy of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The American team is led by Louisvillian Don Fightmaster, 76, who lost an arm at the age of 22 while serving in the Air Force. Fightmaster, who is frequently called "lefty," has focused his time and energy on encouraging others with handicaps and disabilities, particularly in the game of golf.

Fightmaster is also the founder of the Don Fightmaster Foundation for Children, which has contributed more than $1 million since 1979 to help handicapped children.

The Humana Corporation announced Monday it will donate $100,000 to the Fightmaster Cup.

"We are delighted to support such an inspiring event," said Humana Foundation Executive Director Virginia Kelly Judd in a press release.