Wednesday, October 02, 2013


England will be represented by two golfers outside the top 50 in the World Cup next month with their four highest-ranked players all turning down the opportunity to represent their country at Royal Melbourne.
David Lynn and Chris Wood will be the beneficiaries of the choice by Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter to skip the biennial event.
Officials had been hoping that Poulter would play in his fifth successive World Cup, but his agent, RJ Nemer, told Telegraph Sport on Monday that for the first time since 2006 he would not be teeing it up in the event.
The line-ups will be revealed on Friday, but Lynn, ranked 52nd in the world, and Wood (67th) seem assured of their places in the new-look tournament.
It will be a fine opportunity for the pair as, for the first time, the emphasis will be on the individual competition with only $1million (£617,000) of the $8million purse going to the winners of the team event.
World ranking points will also be on offer, which makes it yet more of attractive proposition to Lynn and Wood as they try to secure a place in the top 50 by the end of the year and so qualify for The Masters.
The format over 72 holes of strokeplay, with the players’ scores being combined for the team competition, will be the same as for the 2016 Olympics, when golf returns to the Games after 114 years.
With Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson also almost certain not to be in Australia, the news of the English stayaways will be an obvious blow to the World Cup, which was inaugurated in 1953 but which has struggled for a secure footing ever since.
Hopes were high that the Olympics format, the high-quality venue and the vastly increased prize fund would entice the big names, but this year’s date plainly has not done the organisers any favours.
It takes place the week immediately after the Race To Dubai play-offs finish, a four-week long series of events in China, Turkey and the UAE.
Royal Melbourne will be buoyed, however, by the likely make-up of the Australia team, with it emerging that Jason Day is ready to play alongside Adam Scott, who will be making his first appearance in his homeland since his Masters victory in April.
Rose and Co will inevitably come in for criticism for this supposed snub, although, the truth is, the calendar has never been tighter for those playing on both of the main circuits.
The quartet cited the necessity for rest when declaring their absences from this week’s Seve Trophy near Paris, a move condemned by their Ryder Cup team-mate Paul Lawrie.
McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Sergio García and Martin Kaymer are other non-attendees at Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche as a Great Britain and Ireland team led by Sam Torrance take on José María Olazábal’s Continental Europe side.
The latter lost another Ryder Cup performer on Monday when Peter Hanson withdrew because of his long-standing back complaint.
The Swede’s place is taken by Spain’s Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño. Lynn and Wood will both be in opposition as GB&I go for their seventh successive victory.



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