Golf

Stars commit as World Cup locked in

Ian Poulter

The ISPS Handa World Cup field soon descending on Melbourne was all but finalised today with some big names added to a star-studded field.

England’s Ian Poulter was among the notables selected and will make his sixth appearance in the World Cup competition after being tabbed by fellow countryman Tyrrell Hatton.

The English pairing will start as one of the favourites, along with the previously confirmed Australian duo of Marc Leishman and World Cup debutant Cameron Smith when Australia takes on the world in Melbourne.

South Africa’s Branden Grace selected fellow Presidents Cup veteran and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. Grace and Schwartzel, both making their second starts in the World Cup of Golf, have combined for seven Presidents Cup appearances.

Two-time US PGA Tour winner Kyle Stanley and seven-time US PGA Tour champion and member of the victorious 2011 World Cup of Golf team Matt Kuchar will provide strong competition for one of golf’s oldest team trophies.

Following a four-stroke triumph at Kingston Heath in the 2016 World Cup, Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen opted for 2016 partner Soren Kjeldsen to defend their title.

Others to compete at The Metropolitan Golf Club include 2017 Players Championship winner Si Woo Kim, selected by Byeong Hun An to round out the Korean team. The 23-year-old is making his World Cup of Golf debut after first representing Korea in the 2017 Presidents Cup. Between the duo, they have won the flagship events on the US PGA Tour and European Tour, with An capturing the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth followed by Kim’s Players victory two years later.

Leishman and Grace are among eight players who have played on past International teams at the Presidents Cup. Kim, Schwartzel, India’s Anirban Lahiri, New Zealand’s Danny Lee, Canada’s Adam Hadwin and Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas round out that list.

Having finished T2 in the 2016 ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, the team of Haotong Li and Ashun Wu are set to return to Melbourne with their sights set on capturing China’s first World Cup. Wu is coming off his third career European Tour victory at last week’s KLM Open. Wu and Li also represented China in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Other notables in the field include two-time major champion and former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer as well as WGC winner Shane Lowry, who will be joined by Maximilian Kieffer and Paul Dunne as their respective partners for Germany and Ireland.

Due to a late withdrawal by Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, a replacement country and players will be announced in the coming days.

The 2018 ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf will be contested at Metropolitan from 21-25 November.

TEAMS

Australia: Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith

England: Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter

United States: Kyle Stanley, Matt Kuchar

Thailand: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Prom Meesawat

South Africa: Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel

Denmark: Thorbjorn Olesen, Soren Kjeldsen

Japan: Satoshi Kodaira, Hideto Tanihara

Korea: Byeong Hun An, Si Woo Kim

China: Haotong Li, Ashun Wu

Canada: Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor

Scotland: Russell Knox, Martin Laird

Belgium: Thomas Pieters, Thomas Detry

Sweden: Alexander Bjork, Joakim Lagergren

New Zealand: Ryan Fox, Danny Lee

Venezuela: Jhonattan Vegas, Joseph Naffah

Spain: Adrian Otaegui, Jorge Campillo

Ireland: Shane Lowry, Paul Dunne

France: Alexander Levy, Michael Lorenzo-Vera

Austria: Bernd Wiesberger, Matthias Schwab

India: Shubhankar Sharma, Anirban Lahiri

Netherlands: Joost Luiten, Daan Hizing

Finland: Mikko Korhonen, Mikko Ilonen

Mexico: Abraham Ancer, Roberto Diaz

Germany: Martin Kaymer, Maximilian Kieffer

Italy: Andrea Pavan, Renato Paratore

Zimbabwe: Scott Vincent, Benjamin Follett-Smith

Malaysia: Gavin Green, Ben Leong

 

* a replacement team for Argentina will be named soon

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