A host of international stars will tee it up at Royal Melbourne GC in Australia this week to compete for the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf. The USA took the title last time the event was contested in 2011.

The tournament format has changed for this year’s World Cup. The event has reverted to 72 holes strokeplay with $7,000,000 of the $8,000,000 prize fund going towards an individual competition. The remaining $1,000,000 will be for the team event – decided by the combined scores from two competitors from each country.

A strong, 60-man, field has assembled with World Number 2 Adam Scott the top-ranked player on the start sheet. He and playing partner Jason Day, will start as favourites for the team event. Matt Kuchar – a winner with the USA back in 2011, plays again and will partner Kevin Streelman. Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry will represent Ireland while the Scottish team is Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher. England will be represented by Chris Wood and Danny Willett.

The tournament was founded by Canadian industrialist John Jay Hopkins. It began life in 1953 as the Canada Cup but its name changed to the World Cup in 1967.

Over the years there have been some superb winning teams: In 1956 Ben Hogan and Sam Snead took the title, Jack Nicklaus together with Arnold Palmer were victorious four times in the 1960s, Fred Couples and Davis Love III won the event four times consecutively from 1992 to 1995 and Tiger Woods won in back to back years around the Millennium with Mark O’Meara then David Duval.

In 2011, America’s Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland were victorious at Mission Hills in China. They finished two shots clear of England and Germany.

Venue: Royal Melbourne GC, Victoria, Australia
Date: Nov 21-24
Course stats: par 72, 6,985 yards
Purse: $8,000,000
Defending Champions: USA

TV Coverage:
Thursday 21 – Sky Sports 4 from 2am
Friday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 2am
Saturday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 1am
Sunday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 1am

Player Watch:

Victor Dubuisson – The Frenchman is one of the form players in world golf right now. He was third in the Omega European Masters back in September then won the Turkish Airlines Open two weeks ago before finishing third in Dubai last week. He was sixth in the 2013 Race to Dubai.

Rafa Cabrera Bello – The talented Spaniard has ben playing solidly for the last couple of months. He was tied 14th last week in Dubai and looks to be on the verge of a good tournament.

Peter Hanson – Another man who has come into form in the latter part of the 2013 season, he’s finished no worse than tied 33rd on the European tour since the Bridgestone Invitational in August.

Where next?
European Tour –
South African Open preview