MANY of the world’s top golfers descend on Melbourne this week for the World Cup of Golf, now a true teams event with 56 golfers from 28 countries teeing it up at the iconic Kingston Heath Golf Club.
The revised format this year will see two man teams from each country play fourball on Thursday and Saturday, and foursomes (alternate shot) on Friday and Sunday. The lowest score after 72-holes will claim the trophy and US$1.28 million for each winning team member.
Defending team champion Adam Scott (minus previous teammate and 2013 stroke winner Jason Day) was pleased he will actually play all four rounds with new teammate Marc Leishman.
He told his Wednesday media conference it didn’t feel much like a team event at Royal Melbourne in 2013 because he didn’t play a single round with Day.
“Hopefully we’ve got a little local knowledge over most of the field,” Scott said. “I know a few of the European guys have been here before. We’re talking about world-class players so I’m sure they’ll figure it out pretty quick. Marc would have played here a fair bit growing up as well, and having won the Aussie Masters here a few years ago, I certainly feel pretty comfortable around here. Yeah, maybe get a few members’ bounces this week [Scott is a member], wouldn’t go astray. But I think we’re in for a good week. As long as the wind kind of calms down a little bit, I think we’ll see some good golf out there. Obviously tomorrow and Saturday are the most challenging of the days being alternate shot. If we can kind of hold our own in that, then I think we’ll be in with a good shot.
Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who will team with Shane Lowry, was also full of praise for the format.
“I had an opportunity to play this event three or four times in the past in this format and it’s fantastic,” McDowell said.
“I think some of the best experiences that I’ve had in the game of golf have been in the team format, Ryder Cups and Seve Trophies and the World Cup of Golf. So here representing Ireland and playing alongside a great mate in a team format is very exciting and I think both of us are very up for it this week and very motivated and would love to be there come Sunday afternoon.”
American teams always seem to do well in the foursome and fourball format – they play Ryder Cup and well as Presidents Cup – and the 2016 pairing of Ricky Fowler and Jimmy Walker should prove no different.
The Aussie paring are favourites but many observers point out the Japanese team (Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa) – and the Swedish team (Alex Noren and David Lingmerth) contain two of the hottest players in the golfing world at the moment in Matsuyama and Noren.
The Aussies tee off alongside the Americans on Thursday at 12.10pm.
World Cup TV Times
The Seven Network will have live coverage over the four days of the event beginning Thursday at 12pm – 5pm(AEST)
ScoringWorld Cup Leaderboard
Tee TimesWorld Cup Tee Times
Australia Adam Scott, Marc Leishman
Austria Bernd Wiesberger, Martin Wiegele
Belgium Thomas Pieters, Nicolas Colsaerts
Canada David Hearn, Adam Hadwin
China Wu Ashun, Haotong Li
Chinese Taipei C.T. Pan, Chan Shih-chang
Denmark Soren Kjeldsen, Thorbjorn Olesen
England Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan
France Victor Dubuisson, Romain Langasque
Germany Alex Cejka, Stephan Jaeger
India SSP Chawrasia, Chikkarangappa S
Ireland Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell
Italy Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero
Japan Hideki Matsuyama, Ryo Ishikawa
Korea Byeong Hun An, K.T. Kim
Malaysia Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung
Netherlands Joost Luiten, Darius van Driel
New Zealand Danny Lee, Ryan Fox
Philippines Miguel Tabuena, Angelo Que
Portugal Ricardo Gouveia, José-Filipe Lima
Scotland Russell Knox, Duncan Stewart
South Africa Jaco Van Zyl, George Coetzee
Spain Rafa Cabrera, Bello Jon Rahm
Sweden Alex Noren, David Lingmerth
United States Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker
Thailand Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Wales Bradley Dredge, Stuart Manley