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2018 World Cup of Golf

 

2018 World Cup of Golf logo

 

The 2018 World Cup of Golf, also known, for sponsorship reasons, as the 2018 ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf. Is a golf tournament that kicks off on Thursday 22 – 25 November at Metropolitan Golf Club in South Oakleigh, Australia.

This will be the fifty-ninth World Cup edition. The format is a simply seventy-two-hole stroke play. The first and third days are best of four-balls. The second and fourth days are foursomes (alternate shot) play.

How It Works

The 2018 World Cup of Golf begins at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne tomorrow with some of the world’s best tournament players on show, bring together 28 two-man teams.

Denmark is the defending champions and will be looking to defend their crown. The total prize pool on the line is $9.6 million.

As the tournament tees-off tomorrow the pairs will play as normal. However, only the lowest score will count on each hole.

The format will be adopted again on Saturday. Meanwhile, on Friday and Sunday, it becomes foursomes with each player taking alternative shots.

Australia’s pair of Marc Leishman and Cam Smith has ranked No.1 ahead of England and the USA.

The Format

Thursday and Saturday – Four-Ball

All players play their own ball, with the lowest score for each team counted.

Friday and Sunday – Foursomes

One ball, alternate shot play. Each team member tees off on either odd or ever holes.

Teams to Watch

Australia

The highest ranked player in the event is world No.21 Marc Leishman. He is also a Victorian who grew up competing on the sand belt. As such, high expectations are placed on him.

That he’s partnering with Cameron Smith (33), who is just not a rising star but a star who finished fifth at this year’s Masters, should further raise local hopes.

This event has been a focus for both, for a long time. They have been practicing together and celebrated Leishman’s victory in Malaysia last month with pizza and beers to strengthen their bond. Leishman also knows what he did wrong with Adam Scott in 2016, and is out to make a big correction.

England

Tyrell Hatton and Ian Poulter have the most recent experience of team golf and will quickly adjust to the format. Poulter took down Dustin Johnson in the Sunday singles in Paris too and brings his best when playing for his country.

An Aussie Masters winner at Victoria in 2011, and runner-up the next year, Poulter has sand belt form on the board. Hatton had top 10 finishes at two majors this year, after two wins in 2017, and is world class.

USA

World Cup officials may have to go to the 14th highest ranked American to find a willing participant but Kyle Stanley has enjoyed a career year to get to No.28. He’s a two-time PGA tour winner and isn’t new to Australian golf courses either.

His playing partner, Matt Kuchar is a previous World Cup winner, a Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup player too. He is coming off his eighth US PGA Tour win in Mexico last weekend.

If they were doing selections, now he would be doing the picking, given his recent form, including tied for 23rd after leading early in last week’s Australian Open has elevated him above Stanley. And Kuchar has made no secret of how important representing his country is.

China

Dressed to impress, and inspire, at the 2016 World Cup at Kingston Heath, Haotong Li and Ashun Wu came from the clouds in the final round to push eventual winners Denmark with a closing 65, finishing second.

Little was known about the Chinese pair then but Li, in particular, has gone on to prove himself a force to be reckoned with on the European Tour. He won this year’s Omega Desert Classic in Dubai.

He also has top-five finishes in his past two events, the European Tour’s playoffs. A sheer competitor he and Wu fired each other up in 2016 and will hopefully do so again this year.

Denmark

In 2016 the Danish pair of Thorbjorn Olesen and Søren Kjeldsen were hardly troubled in their four-shot win, set-up by a stunning second round of 60.

Olesen was the junior member of the crew then. But he returns this year as the main man. He is also fresh from Ryder Cup success, and a Sunday singles smashing of three-time major winner Jordan Spieth too.

This big-hitting winner of this year’s Italian Open will be expected to take the lead with Kjeldsen as they look for back-to-back wins.