Alfred Dunhill, the leading English luxury goods company for men, has announced the 16 countries selected by the Championship Committee to play the 16th Alfred Dunhill Cup at St Andrews, October 12-15.
The full list of countries to be represented is as follows:-
Spain, who won the Alfred Dunhill Cup for the first time last year, will be back at St Andrews to defend the title along with last year’s finalists Australia, who won the first two events in 1985 and 1986. Other past winners who will be playing in the Millennium Alfred Dunhill Cup, include the United States, who won three times in 1989, 1993 and 1996, two-time winners England (1987 and 1992), Ireland, the winners in 1988 and 1990, and South Africa, who triumphed in 1997 and 1998. Scotland and Sweden, who won the title in 1995 and 1991 respectively are also included.
The format remains unchanged with the teams, all comprising three professionals, being drawn into four groups, playing in a “round-robin” league over the first three days, with the group winners going forward to the semi-finals on Sunday morning, followed by the 18-hole final in the afternoon. Prize money totals £1 million with £300,000 going to the winning team.
The Alfred Dunhill Cup will be televised live on all four days by Sky Sports in the UK and will be seen in Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, throughout Asia, Australasia, South America, Southern Africa and the United States together with highlights coverage throughout Europe and in many other markets throughout the world.
Argentina has played in the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St. Andrews on eight previous occasions in which three of their six match victories have come against England – they beat them 2-1 in 1986, 1995 and again in 1997. Their other victories have come against Wales, Japan and Korea.
Australia has played in all fifteen Alfred Dunhill Cup tournaments at St. Andrews. With victories in 1985 and 1986 – the first two years of the tournament – they were also finalists in 1988, losing 1-2 to Ireland, and last year, losing 1-2 to Spain. Australia also reached the semi-finals in 1987, 1992 and 1998.
China played at St. Andrews for the first time last year. Although they did not win a match, Wu Xiang-Bing inflicted Retief Goosen’s first defeat in eleven matches as they took a game off the defending champions South Africa, and China also took a game off former champions England.
England has a very successful record at St. Andrews. They have played in all fifteen previous events, have won the Alfred Dunhill Cup in 1987 and 1992, were twice finalists in 1990 and 1993, and have also reached the semi-finals on three occasions – 1988, 1989 and 1994.
France has played on ten previous occasions at St. Andrews and they will be remembered for their giant-killing acts of 1989 and 1990 when they knocked out Australia and USA respectively in the first round. France also defeated Australia in the round-robin stages in 1997.
This is Germany’s seventh appearance in the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St. Andrews. On the six previous occasions in 1992 and from 1994 to 1998 they have won seven of their eighteen round-robin matches but have just failed to reach the semi-final stages.
One of only four teams to have won the Alfred Dunhill Cup more than once, Ireland also reached the semi-finals stages in 1989, 1993 and 1995. Their two victories in 1988 and 1990 when they defeated Australia and England respectively. Ireland has played in all fifteen previous events at St. Andrews.
Japan has played in all but one of the fifteen previous Alfred Dunhill Cup tournaments at St. Andrews. They have never won the event, but have reached the final twice, losing 0-3 to Australia and 2-3 to the United States in 1989. Japan also reached the semi-finals in 1990.
In twelve previous appearances at St. Andrews, New Zealand has won eighteen of their thirty-three matches. They reached the final for the first time in 1996 when they were narrowly defeated by the United States 1-2. In 1990 and 1997 New Zealand also reached the semi-finals.
Scotland won the title for the first time in 1995, defeating Zimbabwe in the final. Previously, Scotland had reached the semi-finals five times and the final twice without lifting the Cup on their home territory. They have yet to defeat their arch rivals England, to whom they have lost on five occasions.
South Africa made a dramatic entry into the competition – on their first visit to St. Andrews in 1991, they lost the final to Sweden in a play-off. They avenged that defeat in the 1997 final and successfully defended their title against Spain in 1998. South Africa also reached the semi-finals in 1994, 1996 and last year.
Spain has played in all fifteen Alfred Dunhill Cup tournaments at St. Andrews and reached the final for the first time in 1998 when they lost to South Africa, but last year they went one better winning the title for the first time against Australia. Spain has also reached the semi-final stage twice – in 1988 and 1995.
Sweden has played fourteen times at St. Andrews, only missing out in the inaugural year in 1985. Winners of the Alfred Dunhill Cup in 1991 when they defeated South Africa in a play-off, they also reached the 1997 final when South Africa gained their revenge. Sweden were semi-finalists in 1993, 1996 and 1999.
One of only six nations to have played in all fifteen previous events in 1996 and the United States became the first team to win the Alfred Dunhill Cup three times. Their other victories were in 1989 and in 1993. They were also finalists in 1985 and 1994, and semi-finalists on five occasions in 1986, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 1998.
Wales, who will be making their tenth appearance at St. Andrews, were semi-finalists in the first Alfred Dunhill Cup in 1985 losing 1-2 to the eventual winners Australia. They also reached the semi-finals in 1991 when they also lost 1-2 to the eventual winners Sweden.
Zimbabwe first played in the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St. Andrews in 1987, but it was not until 1993 that they were able to field their strongest team of Tony Johnstone, Mark McNulty and Nick Price. This trio reached the final in 1995, losing to Scotland, and were second in their group in 1994, 1996 and again in 1997.