Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Star players start to commit to the World Cup of Golf
Commitments from a selection of golf’s biggest international stars have begun with American Matt Kuchar, Italian Matteo Manassero and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee announcing their intentions to represent their respective countries at the World Cup of Golf, held at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club from November 21-24. Tournament officials also announced that tickets are officially on sale from Ticketmaster for the 57th staging of this historic event.
Manassero will take to bring the trophy back to Italy after the Molinari brothers won the event in 2009.
The 20 year old, currently fifth in The Race to Dubai and 28th in the Official World Golf Ranking, is one of the game’s rising stars with four European Tour victories to his name.
Manassero’s victory in May at the BMW PGA Championship made him the youngest winner of The European Tour’s flagship event. Manassero posted an impressive 69 in the final round to tie with Simon Khan, before winning on the fourth play-off hole.  In 2010, he became the youngest winner in European Tour history thanks to his victory in the 2010 Castelló Masters, aged 17 years and 188 days.
“I’m genuinely excited about playing in the World Cup, and can’t wait to make my debut at Royal Melbourne. It’s not often that you get the chance to play for your country as well as yourself, so I really want to play well and help make it a great week for Italy,” Manassero said. “When Edoardo and Francesco won in 2009 it was huge news in Italy, so hopefully I can help bring the trophy back home again.”
Thongchai, the only man to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, represents the global nature of the World Cup of Golf, having played in tournaments across the world. With 13 victories on the Asian Tour, which include three co-sanctioned tournaments with The European Tour and another victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open in 2012, Thongchai has shown he can compete at the highest level of the game. His best finish in 2013 came at The European Tour’s Volvo World Match Play Championship, where he finished runner-up to Graeme McDowell.
“I always enjoy playing in the World Cup, it’s a great tournament and obviously a little bit different from the events we usually play,” Thongchai said. “You want to do well when you are playing for your country, so I will give it my best shot.” 
Along with Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar was part of the team which won the World Cup when it was last held in 2011 at the Mission Hills Resort, in Hainan Island, China.
Kuchar, who won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship as well as The Memorial Tournament this year on the US PGA Tour, was also part of the victorious 2011 US Presidents Cup team when it was held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Since the start of the 2010 campaign, Kuchar has recorded 36 top ten finishes on the US PGA Tour, which is more than any other player during those four seasons. The World Number Six has six career victories and is one four players with multiple wins on the US PGA Tour in 2013, joining Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker.
He said: “Representing my country is a real honour, whether in The Ryder Cup, The Presidents Cup or the World Cup. It was a great experience to win the World Cup in 2011 with Gary Woodland and I’m looking forward to ‘defending’ at Royal Melbourne.”
Minister for Tourism Louise Asher welcomed the commitments, saying: “I am sure that this will be a great showcase for golf in this state, and I am delighted that three champions of the sport will be playing in the World Cup. It is exciting that once again Royal Melbourne will be showcased to a global audience through this top international competition.
“The 2013 World Cup of Golf is estimated to create between $25 million to $30 million in economic benefit to Victoria, and will attract up to 9,000 interstate and international visitors.



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