28 countries will be represented at the 2016 World Cup of Golf as 56 players tee it up at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia.
The World Cup of Golf will feature 28 two-man teams competing over 72 holes of strokeplay in a mixed format event. The first and third rounds will be foursomes and the second and fourth rounds will be fourball better ball.
A strong field has assembled in Melbourne. Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker play for the USA, Japan will have a good chance with their pairing of Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa, as will Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark.
The teams from the UK and Ireland are as follows: Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan will represent England, Russell Knox and Duncan Stewart tee it up for Scotland, Ireland has Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell and Wales, Bradley Dredge and Stuart Manley.
This tournament was founded by Canadian industrialist John Jay Hopkins. It began life in 1953 as the Canada Cup but its name changed to the World Cup in 1967.
Over the years there have been some superb winning teams: In 1956 Ben Hogan and Sam Snead took the title, Jack Nicklaus together with Arnold Palmer were victorious four times in the 1960s, Fred Couples and Davis Love III won the event four times consecutively from 1992 to 1995 and Tiger Woods won in back to back years around the Millennium with Mark O’Meara then David Duval. The USA is the most successful nation in the event’s history with 24 wins in total.
Kingston Heath is one of Melbourne’s famous sandbelt courses. Dating from the mid 1920s, the design was by Dan Soutar and then Alister MacKenzie. The club has played host to the Australian Open on seven occasions and, in 2009, the Australian Masters which was won by Tiger Woods.
Venue: Kingston Heath GC, Melbourne, Australia Date: Nov 24-27 Course stats: par 72, 7,059 yards Purse: $8,000,000 Defending Champions: Australia
TV Coverage: Thursday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 1am Friday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 1am Saturday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 1am Sunday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 1am
Japan – Hideki Matsuyama is one of the form players in world golf right now, having won the recent WGC HSBC Champions. He teams up with the talented Ryo Ishikawa who won on the Japan Golf Tour earlier this year.
Spain – Rafa Cabrera-Bello has had a fantastic year and Jon Rahm has made a great start to his professional career, earning his PGA Tour card in the limited number of events he started during the 2016 season.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello swing sequence:
Denmark – Soren Kjeldsen comes into the event on the back of a good performance in Dubai, Thorbjorn Olesen is playing well too – he was winner of the Turkish Airlines Open three weeks back.
Key hole: 15th. A superb par-3 of just 154 yards, but with a narrow green and deep bunkering on either side, it’s a very challenging hole. The green can be tough to hold and it’s easy to go long on this hole. If the green is missed on any side, getting up-and-down will be tough.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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