The second edition of the UBS Warburg Cup takes place at Sea Island, Georgia, this week with the Rest of the World team seeking to reverse the result at Kiawah Island 12 months ago when the United States won by the narrowest of margins, 12 ½ - 11 ½.
Two icons of the game, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player will once again be the respective playing captains of the United States and the Rest of the World teams with Player’s 12-strong side attempting to win the trophy for the first time.
The other players on the Rest of the World team are: Seiji Ebihara and Denis Durnian (first and second in the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit); Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam (Top three European Tour Career Money Winners for players aged 40 – 49); Sam Torrance, Eduardo Romero and Barry Lane (Special Invitations for players 40 - 49), and Isao Aoki, Rodger Davis and Stewart Ginn (Special Invitations for players 50 and older).
Ebihara, who was taught by Aoki, confirmed his reputation as one of the European Seniors Tour’s most consistent performers, winning three tournaments in 2002 and posting five other top ten finishes in 12 events to finish Number One on the Seniors Tour Order of Merit with €330,210.
Durnian, Number Two on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit, played in the inaugural UBS Warburg Cup at Kiawah Island and contributed a 2 and 1 victory over Dana Quigley in the singles.
Palmer’s team comprises: Hale Irwin (Senior PGA Tour All-Time Leading Money Winner); Bob Gilder (second on 2002 US Seniors Tour money list); Scott Hoch, Tom Lehman and Mark O’Meara ( US PGA Tour Career Money List for players 40 – 49), Curtis Strange, Paul Azinger and Fred Funk (Special Invitations for players 40 – 49), Raymond Floyd, Tom Watson and Tom Kite (Special Invitations for players 50 and older).
Last year’s UBS Warburg Cup engendered a wonderful team spirit which prompted Palmer to declare: “The fellowship was fantastic, even though the competition was really keen.”
Player responded: “Obviously we were disappointed to lose by just one point, but it has proved to be a great event. It was great to be involved in the match and the sponsors have produced a tournament to be proud of.”
The United States trailed 7-5 after the first two days of play at Kiawah Island, but rallied on the final day to win the inaugural UBS Warburg Cup. Palmer started the United States comeback with a 2 and 1 victory over Player in a match between the two Captains.
Meanwhile Torrance and Strange, Captains for The 34th Ryder Cup Matches at The De Vere Belfry, halved their match. The US then clinched victory with wins in the final two matches, Calcavecchia defeating Woosnam, by one hole and Larry Nelson claiming a 3 and 2 win over Frank Nobilo.
Sea Island’s Seaside Course opened in 1927 and was redesigned by one of golf’s greatest architects, Tom Fazio, in 1999. Fazio blended the original nine hole Seaside - designed by Charles Colt and Hugh Alison with Joe Lee’s Marshside nine holes - into a course that plays in the tradition of the legendary Scottish links.
The par 70 course covers 6,985 yards from the championship tees. The Seaside Course is known for its natural beauty and breathtaking panoramas of the island, marsh, creeks, Atlantic Ocean and St. Simons Sound.
Six foursomes matches will be played on Friday, 15 November with six fourball matches on Saturday followed by 12 singles on Sunday, which will again feature a clash between the two Captains.