Galaxy of stars set to light up Melbourne

10/10/2013 13:09:00
Francesco Molinari   (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

A total of four Major Champions, six Ryder Cup stars and 31 European Tour winners will line up for the 57th edition of the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, which will be held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club from November 21-24.

 Home hero Adam Scott, Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, Argentina’s Angel Cabrera and Fiji’s Vijay Singh make up the quartet of Major men who will be going for glory – and a prize fund of US$8million – in the Australian city of Melbourne next month.

 Between them, the four have amassed no fewer than 36 European Tour titles, but as yet none has tasted success in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.   

 The same could not be said for American Matt Kuchar, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and German Marcel Siem, the only three players in the 60-man field to have triumphed in the tournament, which this year reverts to a stroke play format but still retains a team component.

Siem and playing partner Bernhard Langer defeated their Scottish counterparts Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren in a play-off in 2006; the Molinari brothers, Edoardo and Francesco, became the first Italians to win the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf when they prevailed in 2009; and Kuchar was partnered by his compatriot Gary Woodland to glory at the Mission Hills Resort in China two years ago.

Kuchar and Siem have both enjoyed individual success this season – the American winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Memorial Tournament on the US PGA TOUR, and the German the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco – and the duo will be joined at Royal Melbourne Golf Club by ten of their fellow winners from The 2013 European Tour International Schedule.

They are: World Number Two Scott (Masters Tournament); World Number 12 McDowell (Volvo World Match Play Championship and Alstom Open de France); World Number 31 Matteo Manassero of Italy (BMW PGA Championship); World Number 39 Richard Sterne of South Africa (Joburg Open); World Number 44 Jamie Donaldson of Wales (Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship); World Number 54 Joost Luiten of the Netherlands (Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity and KLM Open); World Number 58 Chris Wood of England (Commercialbank Qatar Masters); World Number 65 Stephen Gallacher of Scotland (Omega Dubai Desert Classic); World Number 87 Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand (Maybank Malaysian Open); and World Number 123 Grégory Bourdy of France (ISPS Handa Wales Open).      

The make-up of the 60-man field was based on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), with up to two players per country allowed to qualify (or four per country if they were within the top 15 of the OWGR).

The format will return to 72 holes of stroke play, with individual players competing for US$7 million of the US$8 million prize fund.

 The top two-ranked players from each country will compete for the team event, using combined stroke play scores.

First played in 1953, the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf is one of the oldest and most prestigious team events, inviting two-man teams from 26 nations to represent their countries. The list of former champions reads like a who’s who of golf, with great names such as Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Sir Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie all having lifted the trophy.

Tickets for the tournament are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.com.au.

THE FIELD

Argentina Angel Cabrera (53) & Emiliano Grillo (246)

Australia Adam Scott (2) & Jason Day (16)

Austria Bernd Wiesberger (60)

Bangladesh Mohd Rahman (290)

Belgium Nicolas Colsaerts (51)

Brazil Adilson da Silva (227)

Canada Brad Fritsch (344) & David Hearn (127)

Chile Felipe Aguilar (139) & Mark Tullo (347)

China WC Liang (162) & Wu A-shun (245)

Denmark Thorbjorn Olesen (49) & Thomas Bjorn (46)

England Chris Wood (67) & David Lynn (52)

Fiji  Vijay Singh (181)

Finland Mikko Korhonen (308) & Roope Kakko (324)

France Victor Dubuisson (103) & Gregory Bourdy (121)

Germany Marcel Siem (75) & Maximilian Kieffer (292)

India Anirban Lahiri (191) & Gaganjeet Bhullar (150)

Ireland Graeme McDowell (11) & Shane Lowry (84)

Italy Francesco Molinari (47) & Matteo Manassero (31)

Japan Hideto Tanihara (174) & Ryo Ishikawa (146)

Mexico Jose de Jesu Rodriguez (394)

Netherlands Joost Luiten (55) & Robert-Jan Derksen (332)

New Zealand Mike Hendry (196) & Tim Wilkinson (317)

Norway Espen Kofstad (293)

Philippines Angelo Que (276) & Tony Lascuna (366)

Portugal Philippe Lima (264) & Ricardo Santos (192)

Scotland Martin Laird (59) & Stephen Gallacher (63)

South Africa Branden Grace (36) & Richard Sterne (38)

South Korea K.J. Choi (113) & Sang-Moon Bae (110)

Spain Miguel A. Jimenez (45) & Rafael Cabrera Bello (108)

Sweden Jonas Blixt (35) & Peter Hanson (39)

Thailand Kiradech Aphibarnrat (86) & Thongchai Jaidee (58)

United States Bill Haas (29) & Matt Kuchar (8)

Wales Jamie Donaldson (43) & Stuart Manley (365)

Zimbabwe Brendon de Jonge (62)