Spain, successful at the 15th time of asking last year, defend the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St.Andrews this week with Miguel Angel Martin joining 1999 winners José Maria Olazábal and Miguel Angel Jiménez in the line-up in place of Sergio Garcia.
The Spanish side, who have played in every one of the tournaments over the Old Course stretching back to 1985, had only reached the final once previously before finally capturing the trophy with a 2-1 victory over Australia.
Australia, winners of the first two Alfred Dunhill Cups, are again represented. Their team comprises Stephen Leaney, winner of the TNT Dutch Open this year, Nick O’Hern and Peter O’Malley.
The last British side to win at the Home of Golf was Scotland in 1995, and two of that victorious side – Colin Montgomerie and Andrew Coltart – will be taking part again along with Gary Orr, currently enjoying his best season with two European Tour successes under his belt, filling the berth occupied five years ago by Sam Torrance.
South Africa, successful in the two years before Spain, and semi-finalists last year, will entrust their country’s hopes once more on the winning combination of Ernie Els, David Frost and Retief Goosen. Els returns to St.Andrews where he finished joint runner-up to Tiger Woods in the Open Championship less than three months ago.
The form side could turn out to be Argentina, who have never won the trophy but look strong contenders with a trio of Angel Cabrera, Dubai Desert Classic winner José Coceres and the rejuvenated 46 year old Eduardo Romero, recent winner of the Canon European Masters.