Gary Player and Mark McNulty will spearhead the Rest of the World team against the United States pairing of Arnold Palmer and Jay Haas in the top foursomes match in the opening session of the UBS Cup at Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique Course, South Carolina tomorrow.
Player and McNulty, the form horse having won the last two events of the US Champions Tour season during his rookie year, will be hoping to gain some early momentum in a bid to steer the Rest of the World team to their first victory in four meetings.
They will be followed by Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, re-united for the first time since masterminding Europe’s record victory in The 34th Ryder Cup Matches in September, who will face Tom Kite and Raymond Floyd in the second group.
In last year’s UBS Cup, Langer and Montgomerie, who have an impressive record together in The Ryder Cup, successfully joined forces to secure two victories.
Sam Torrance and Barry Lane, team-mates from the 1993 Ryder Cup Matches, face Hale Irwin and Fred Funk while another of the marquee matches will see course designer Tom Watson and Scott Hoch against Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle.
The European Seniors Tour’s top pairing of Carl Mason and John Chillas will be involved in an intriguing contest which sees the top money winner in Europe against the leading money winner in the United States in Craig Stadler and Curtis Strange, who joins the senior ranks next year.
The final grouping pits the 2004 US Ryder Cup Captain Hal Sutton and Fred Couples against the Australian duo of Peter Senior and Rodger Davis.
“There's no question, in my opinion that Arnold has got the strongest team that I've seen him have since we've played these matches,” said Player. “If you look at these names, they are pretty impressive and I think we have got some good names. I think they are two good teams. I think we can have some terrific games. So I think everything is looking really good for a nice series, you know. We want to see good golf, good matches and exciting matches.”
“I think the whole thing is shaping up to be a wonderful competition,” added Palmer. “We really have 24 very fine players. There's not a man on here, except for me, I'm probably the only weak one on the whole 24 guys. And other than that, the venue is perfect. The weather has been just wonderful. The golf course will make a good golf course for this kind of a competition. It all looks good. It looks great to me, everything. All I want to do is win.”