Royal Melbourne to host golf World Cup in November
The World Cup of Golf will be held at Royal Melbourne in November the week after the Australian Masters.
The International Federation of PGA Tours said in a statement Sunday that the World Cup will be held from Nov. 21-24 at the sand-belt course which hosted the 2011 and 1998 Presidents Cups.
That's the week following the Australian Masters on the same course, and where U.S. Masters champion Adam Scott is expected to defend his Australian Masters title.
The World Cup will use an individual, stroke-play format and a team component akin to that to be used for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when golf returns to the event.
The World Cup will have an $8 million total purse: $7 million allocated to the stroke play event and $1 million for teams. The field will include 60 players with eligibility taken from the Official World Golf Ranking, with up to four players qualifying per country depending on ranking.
If two or more players from a country qualify, then the country is eligible for team competition, with the top-two players comprising the qualified team.
One difference between World Cup qualification and 2016 Olympic competition is that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will each be considered separate countries. At the Olympics, those four countries compete as Britain.
In April, Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said he was looking into regulations that could keep Rory McIlroy from choosing which team he represents at Rio. McIlroy is from Northern Ireland, and he has been caught in a difficult situation politically whether to play for Ireland or Britain when golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
The Olympic Games will not have a team competition.
"This is a great day for golf and a great day for Australia," Brian Thorburn, chief executive officer of the PGA of Australia, said. "The addition of the World Cup will complement an already strong swing of tournaments including the Australian PGA, Open and Masters and will significantly boost the international player prospects for these events."
The World Cup has been played three previous times in Australia, all at Royal Melbourne. It was last played in Australia in 1988 as part of the country's Bicentennial celebrations when the U.S. team of Ben Crenshaw and Mark McCumber defeated the Japanese team of Jumbo and Tateo Ozaki to win the tournament.
The United States leads in World Cup team wins with 24, including Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland in 2011. Australia holds four World Cup titles, the last coming in 1989 with Wayne Grady and Peter Fowler.