OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup: 2009 Player Profiles


November 2, 2009

Who's playing in the 2009 OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup? We've previewed the countries and players in the field.

ARGENTINA


Tano Goya
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable:  “I am really happy to be part of the team this year. I have heard some great things about the golf course, and the facilities are fantastic at Mission Hills. I know that Rafa and I will enjoy playing with each other against some of the best players in the world. We will be going there to win and to try and beat all of the teams to try and make history for Argentina.”

Rafael Echenique
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “Playing for our country is going to be very special. Every Argentinean grows up wanting to play for their country in the football World Cup, but for us to be able to represent our country in golf is a great honor. I am very proud of that, and I hope that I can show that on the course at Mission Hills.”

Argentina World Cup Fun Fact: With Australia (Kel Nagle and Peter Thomson) battling Argentina (Antonio Cerda and Roberto De Vicenzo) for the 1954 World Cup on the par-4 third hole during the final round, Cerda’s approach shot headed toward a greenside bunker at Laval-sure-le-Lac Golf Club in Montreal, Canada. As the ball landed, it deflected off a frog, away from the sand and into the rough. Cerda calmly pitched onto the green and made his putt for a par. The frog, meanwhile, was killed, with tournament officials later burying the little fella in the same third-hole bunker that Cerda’s ball avoided. Argentina, which won the inaugural World Cup in 1953, couldn’t defend its title, losing to Australia by four strokes.

Argentina Victories (1):
1953, Antonio Cerda/Roberto De Vicenzo

Argentina’s Total Previous Appearances: 53

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AUSTRALIA

Stuart Appleby
Previous World Cup Appearances (2): 1996, 2003
Best World Cup Performance: T14 (1996, with Bradley Hughes)
Quotable: “This will be my third time in the tournament, and I’ll be playing with my good friend, Robs. That’s something I haven’t done before. It looks like a good course and a good test, and I’m very much looking forward to it. If we play half-decent, we’ll have a good chance and I expect good things.”

Robert Allenby
Previous World Cup Appearances (2): 1993, 1995
Best World Cup Performance: 2nd (1995, with Brett Ogle)
Quotable:  “I asked Apples if he would play with me, which was good. We’ll go out there and try to give it our best and have a bit of fun. The good thing about that sort of format is in the four-ball you can go out there and be aggressive and go for it. I hear the golf course is good. I’m looking forward to it.”

Australia World Cup Fun Fact: Australia has competed in every World Cup since the tournament’s inception in 1953, winning four times, but there have been three occasions where Australia didn’t place in the overall standings when the team didn’t post a score because of illness. In 1964, Peter Thomson became sick and withdrew prior to the final round. Ten years later, Ian Stanley suffered the same fate, becoming ill and unable to finish. The third to take ill and have to withdraw was Bob Shaw in 1980. He couldn’t play the final three rounds, although in a sign of good faith his partner, George Serhan, soldiered on playing as a solo.

Australia Victories (4):
1954, Kel Nagle/Peter Thomson
1959, Kel Nagle/Peter Thomson
1970, Bruce Devlin/David Graham
1989, Peter Fowler/Wayne Grady

Australia’s Total Previous Appearances: 54

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BRAZIL

Rafael Barcellos
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It is a dream come true. I had the dream of playing the World Cup since I started playing as a professional. I have always wanted to compete along with the world’s best, and in China that’s exactly what we’ll be doing.”

Ronaldo Francisco
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “This tournament is huge for me. I had the dream of making the World Cup, and now we are headed there. It’s very exciting, that’s all I can say.”

Brazil World Cup Fun Fact: Mario Gonzalez holds two special distinctions in Brazilian golf history. In 1954, he joined Ricardo Rossi, and the duo became the first Brazilian team to play in the World Cup. They finished eighth that year at Laval-Su-Le Lac in Montreal, Canada. Eight years later, Gonzalez was again a first in golf history. Gonzalez played the first match in the televised series “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf” at Gavea Country Club in Rio de Janeiro against Billy Casper.

Best Brazil Finish:
4th, 1979, (Jaime Gonzalez/Rafael Navarro)

Brazil’s Total Previous Appearances: 40

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CANADA

Stuart Anderson
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2004
Best World Cup Performance: 20th (2004, with Darren Griff)
Quotable: “When Graham and I are both on form, we can definitely contend. It is great that we qualified again.”

Graham DeLaet
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T13 (2008, with Wes Heffernan)
Quotable: “We are very excited to have the chance to play in China, and we have a great chance to really compete when we get there. It’s always exciting to put your country’s name on your bag and stride down the fairway. Growing up as a kid in Canada you dream of representing your country at ice hockey. Golf is the only sport that I will have the chance to fulfill that dream, and I am really proud.”

Canada World Cup Fun Fact: With a six-stroke lead going to the 16th hole during the final round of the 1985 World Cup at La Quinta Country Club in California, Dave Barr and Dan Halldorson were trying to hold off the English team of Howard Clark and Paul Way and the U.S. squad of Tom Kite and Lanny Wadkins. As Barr and Halldorson stood on the tee, they could hear the U.S. Marine Corps band, in the distance, practicing the Canadian National Anthem. Both Barr and Halldorson smiled, but it was Halldorson who turned to his partner and said, “Dave, don’t even think about it. We still have a job to finish here.” Finish they did, beating England by four strokes and the U.S. by five.

Canada Victories (3):
1968, Al Balding/George Knudson
1980, Dan Halldorson/Jim Nelford
1985, Dave Barr/Dan Halldorson

Canada’s Total Previous Appearances: 52

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CHILE

Hugo Leon
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It’s really a huge honor to have the opportunity to represent Chile in the World Cup. This is our first time representing our nation as professional players. Martin is one of my closest friends, so it’s an honor to have the opportunity to share this experience with him.”

Martin Ureta
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “There will be many great players competing at the World Cup, and our expectations are the same we had for the qualifying tournament -- to play well and enjoy every moment of it. Hopefully we [can] follow in the footsteps of our fellow countrymen, Felipe Aguilar and Mark Tully, who did so well representing Chile last year.”

Chile World Cup Fun Fact:
Although Chile missed the first World Cup in 1953, the South American country was a tournament mainstay, playing in every World Cup between 1954 and 1983. After that, the appearances dropped off considerably, with Chile playing only eight times between 1984 and 2008, with very little success. In its five most-recent appearances prior to 2008, Chile had finished last in 1993, 1996 and 2003 and second-to-last in 1999. Then, a year ago at Mission Hills, the team of Felipe Aguilar and Mark Tullo came up with an out-of-nowhere tie for 10th, the country’s best-ever finish in the World Cup.

Best Chile Finish:
T10, 2008, (Felipe Aguilar/Mark Tullo)

Chile’s Total Previous Appearances: 36

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CHINA

Wen-Chong Liang
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2001, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T11 (2007, with Lian-Wei Zhang)
Quotable: “We know each other’s game very well, and having the World Cup played in Mission Hills, hopefully there’s going to be at least one time that we’re going to hopefully bring the trophy into China and share that with all of the supporters.”

Lian-Wei Zhang
Previous World Cup Appearances (5): 1995, 1996, 2001, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T11 (2007, with Wen-Chong Liang)
Quotable: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to represent China once again at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. As the event is played in China, it is a real honor and privilege to represent the home nation. In many ways, there is pressure on us to perform, but this is something which we will look forward to.”

China World Cup Fun Fact: Mission Hills Golf Club in the cities of Shenzhen and Dongguan in southern China is the largest golf club in the world, with the Guinness Book of World Records verifying the fact. The club features 12 courses, 216 holes and two clubhouses, with courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, David Duval, Jumbo Ozaki, David Leadbetter, Pete Dye and Lian-Wei Zhang. Zhang has represented China in the World Cup five times. He was there when Mission Hills’ Nicklaus Course hosted its first World Cup, in 1995. Zhang has also played in 2007 and 2008, and he returns this year, giving him four years of World Cup experience at Mission Hills.

Best China Finish:
3, 1966, (Liang-Huang Lu/Ching-Po Chen)

China’s Total Previous Appearances: 21

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CHINESE TAIPEI

Wen-Tang Lin
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 24th (2008, with Wen-Teh Lu)

Wei-Chi Lu
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2004
Best World Cup Performance: 23rd (2004, with Ter-Chang Wang)

Chinese Taipei World Cup Fun Fact:
As one of the smallest countries that regularly competes in the World Cup, Chinese Taipei won its lone World Cup in 1972 when Min-Nan Hsieh and Liang-Huan Lu joined forces to defeat Japan by two strokes at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia. That victory began quite a stretch for Chinese Taipei, which at various times during the history of the tournament has been called Taiwan, the Republic of China and Formosa. During a five-year period, Chinese Taipei won in 1972 and followed that victory with third-, fourth-, second- and third-place finishes. Also, from 1972 to 1980, Chinese Taipei never finished outside the top 10.

Chinese Taipei Victories (1):
1972, Min-Nan Hsieh/Liang-Huang Lu

Chinese Taipei’s Total Previous Appearances: 20

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DENMARK

Soren Kjeldsen
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 1998, 1999, 2003
Best World Cup Performance: T13 (1999, with Soren Hansen)

Soren Hansen
Previous World Cup Appearances (7): 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T2 (2001, with Thomas Bjorn)

Denmark World Cup Fun Fact: Playing in Gotemba City, Japan, in late November 2001, the Danish team of Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen was the only true cold-weather pairing among the contenders that also included South Africa, the U.S. and New Zealand. Denmark seemed to thrive in the cool weather, with Bjorn and Hansen shooting four rounds in the 60s at Taiheiyo Club’s Gotemba Course, about 100 miles west of Tokyo. With players bundled in sweaters, jackets and turtlenecks playing on a course located at the base of the snow-capped Mount Fuji, Denmark seemed unfazed by the cold, shot a final-round-best 65 in foursomes but eventually lost in a playoff with South Africa (Ernie Els and Retief Goosen) prevailing. Denmark’s runner-up performance (along with the U.S.’s David Duval and Tiger Woods and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell and David Smail) is still Denmark’s best World Cup finish.

Best Denmark Finish:
T2, 2001, (Thomas Bjorn/Soren Hansen)

Denmark’s Total Previous Appearances: 48

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ENGLAND

Ian Poulter
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2001, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 4th (2007, with Justin Rose)
Quotable: “I’m looking forward to being a team that way. I think it’s good to gel as a team, and we will be wearing outfits which coordinate, which I think is a good thing to do in this format. It shows you’re trying; it shows you want to be part of the team. And we’ll be trying hard.”

Ross Fisher
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 6th (2008, with Ian Poulter)
Quotable: “Yeah, obviously (I’m) very excited to getting on with a guy like Ian, and representing your country. It’s a massive honor and massive thrill, and I was delighted when I got the phone call. I’m just looking forward to getting going, and hopefully if I can bring in a few shots, then who knows.”

England World Cup Fun Fact: In the inaugural World Cup of 1953 at Beaconsfield Golf Club in Montreal, Canada, England and South Africa joined forces, the only time in World Cup history that two countries made up one team. Harry Weetman of England paired with South Africa’s Bobby Locke (South Africa being a former British colony) to finish fourth in the 36-hole event. The pair finished 12 strokes behind the winning Argentina team of Roberto De Vicenzo and Antonio Cerda.

England Victories (2):
1998, David Carter/Nick Faldo
2004, Paul Casey/Luke Donald

England’s Total Previous Appearances: 54

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FRANCE

Thomas Levet
Previous World Cup Appearances (6): 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Best World Cup Performance: 3rd (2003, with Raphael Jacquelin)

Christian Cevaer   
Previous World Cup Appearances: None

France World Cup Fun Fact: France has hosted the World Cup only once -- in 1963 at Saint-Nom-La-Breteche in Paris. That year, with the World Cup finishing on October 27, the long-time home of the European Tour’s Trophee Lancome was hit with thick fog, which rendered the Rouge Course unplayable after only nine holes Sunday and 63 holes overall. By combining to shoot a 66 on the front nine, Americans Jack Nicklaus (32) and Arnold Palmer (34) held on to win the tournament. France, with Jean Garaialde and Jean-Claude Harismendy, finished 12thin the brume.

Best France Finish:
3rd, 2003, (Raphael Jacquelin/Thomas Levet); 2007 (Gregory Havret/Raphael Jacquelin)

France’s Total Previous Appearances: 53

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GERMANY

Martin Kaymer
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 5th (2008, with Alex Cejka)
Quotable: “There is so much pride in playing for your country, and this is pretty much the only chance we get as professional golfers which is why it means a bit more. You should always grab the opportunity to play for your country when it presents itself. I have always had that sense of pride right back to the days when I played for Germany as an amateur in the national teams. When you see the flag raised and the anthem played, it is a special moment.”

Alex Cejka

Previous World Cup Appearances (9): 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 4th (1996, with Bernhard Langer; 1997, with Sven Struver; 2003, with Marcel Siem)
Quotable: “I like Asia and like to play over there. The weather is generally nice, and the people are unbelievably friendly. Playing in the World Cup is a nice finish to the end of the year for me.”

Germany World Cup Fun Fact: Bernhard Langer won the 1993 World Cup individual title by three shots over the United States’ Fred Couples even though Langer and Sven Struver finished eighth in the team competition. Earlier in the week, Langer even playing in the tournament was in doubt as his nine-month-old daughter, Christina, had a kettle of boiling water fall on her in the Langers’ hotel room. She suffered second-degree burns on her hand, and her father nearly withdrew from the Orlando tournament. Immediately after the accident, the family returned to its Boca Raton, Fla., home so Christina could see a skin specialist. Bernhard eventually returned to Lake Nona Golf and Country Club for the tournament and walked away with the title. As for Christina, today she is a healthy, happy 16-year-old.

Germany Victories (2):
1990, Bernhard Langer/Torsten Gideon
2006, Bernhard Langer/Marcel Siem

Germany’s Total Previous Appearances: 53

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INDIA

Jeev Milkha Singh
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T17 (2008, with Jyoti Randhawa)
Quotable: “I think it’s a very tough format. When you’re playing your own ball, that’s fine. When you’re playing the foursomes, the alternate shot, you are under so much pressure not letting the other guy be in a bad spot. That’s what we need to work on.” 

Jyoti Randhawa
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2005, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 9th (2005, with Arjun Atwal)
Quotable: “I think it will be pretty big. It’s the World Cup. India has teams that do quite well, the cricket team, for instance. Now they hear about golf which has not been talked about. I think it will be quite a big thing there.”

India World Cup Fun Fact:
While India’s Royal Calcutta Golf Club opened for play in 1829, making it the first golf club outside the British Isles, two moments cemented India as a player in world golf. The first was in 1964 when the country held the inaugural Indian Open, with Australian Peter Thomson winning. The second seminal moment came in 1969 when India had its first World Cup team, with Ruda Valii and Shadi Lal traveling to Singapore and finishing 33rd out of 45 teams.

Best India Finish:
5th, 2005, (Arjun Atwal/Jyoti Randhawa)

India’s Total Previous Appearances: 9

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IRELAND

Graeme McDowell
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 16th (2008, with Paul McGinley)
Quotable: “Nice to see Rory taking pity on an old guy. It’s exciting. We talked about the World Cup early in the season, and Rory said he’d play it if I would play with him. Hopefully myself and Rory can have that type of relationship that Padraig Harrington had with Paul McGinley when they won the World Cup. Like Padraig and Paul, we know each other really well. Instead of being two players, we are two friends, and we will make a good team.”

Rory McIlroy
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It’s going to be fantastic playing with Graeme. He is one of my best friends on Tour. Our caddies get on really well and room together most weeks. My dad, Gerry, and Graeme’s dad, Kenny, are going to come to China, as well so, it will be a great week, and we will really enjoy it and give it a good go.”

Ireland World Cup Fun Fact: Christy O’Connor Sr., with 15 appearances and a victory with Harry Bradshaw in 1958, represented Ireland in the World Cup more than any other player. Christy O’Connor Jr., played for Ireland six times. And once -- in 1975 -- uncle and nephew teamed together. That year in Bangkok, Thailand, the O’Connors -- Senior at age 51 -- joined forces to tie for 14th.

Ireland Victories (2):
1958, Harry Bradshaw/Christy O’Connor Sr.
1997, Padraig Harrington/Paul McGinley

Ireland’s Total Previous Appearances: 53

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ITALY

Francesco Molinari
Previous World Cup Appearances: (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T19 (2008, with Edoardo Molinari)
Quotable: “To get to play with your brother is something quite special. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always nice to represent your country. If you get a chance to do it with your brother, it’s almost the best week of the year.”

Edoardo Molinari
Previous World Cup Appearances: (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T19 (2008, with Francesco Molinari)
Quotable: “It is always an honor to represent your country in the World Cup. It will be quite nice to play alongside my brother, as well, again this year. It is a great event at a great golf course, and we are looking forward to a good week in China.”

Italy World Cup Fun Fact: In 1954, Ugo Grappasonni played in the second World Cup representing his home country of Italy. Ugo, who died in 1999, played in the World Cup four more times. Ugo’s son, Silvio, picked up where his dad left off, playing for Italy in the World Cup six times between 1987 and 1997. Keeping it in the family, Ugo’s brother Angelino also had two sons, Carlo and Luciano, and Ugo’s nephews also represented The Boot at the World Cup (Carlo in 1961 and Luciano in 1965 and 1976). The top Grappasonni World Cup finishes were ninth-place showings -- in 1955, when Ugo teamed with Alfonso Angelini, and 1993 and 1994, when Silvio paired with Costantino Rocca. In that tradition, the Brothers Molinari -- Francesco and Edoardo -- have represented Italy the last two years.

Best Italy Finish:
2, 1998, (Massimo Florioli/Costantino Rocca)

Italy’s Total Previous Appearances: 48

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JAPAN

Ryuji Imada
Previous World Cup Appearances: (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T3 (2008, with Toru Taniguchi)
Quotable: “I don’t really get to play with another partner in a golf tournament, and that is really fun. It is more pressure for me because I don’t want to mess up for our team, don’t want to put us in a bad spot. Hiroyuki has already won twice this year. He’s a very consistent player and a really good player. I think we’ll gel quickly.”

Hiroyuki Fujita
Previous World Cup Appearances: (1): 1997
Best World Cup Performance: T16 (1997, with Taichi Teshima)
Quotable: “It will be my first time to play at Olazabal (Course). I’ll learn from my partner how to cope with the course.”

Japan World Cup Fun Fact: From 1953 until 1999, the World Cup’s format consisted of each team member playing his own ball and then adding up the total strokes. During that 46-year period, the all-time low World Cup 18-hole score didn’t come from Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples or Tiger Woods, who all had 63s in their World Cup careers. Instead, it was Japan’s Hisayuki Sasaki who has the honor. On the strength of 11 birdies and one bogey, Sasaki shot a 10-under 62 in the first round of the 1995 World Cup, the first year Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China, hosted the tournament. While Sasaki shot in the 60s in each round (62-69-67-69), his playing partner, Hiroshi Goda, never broke 70 (77-72-70-72), and Japan eventually finished fourth. 

Japan Victories (2):
1957, Torakichi Nakamura/Koichi Ono
2002, Toshi Izawa/Shigeki Maruyama

Japan’s Total Previous Appearances: 53

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NEW ZEALAND

David Smail
Previous World Cup Appearances (5): 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T2 (2002, with Michael Campbell)
Quotable: “I really enjoy the week. I like the course. I like going back there. We have lots of fun with all the guys. We stay in the same place. You see them at the bar and all around the hotel.”

Danny Lee
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It’s always a great honor to play for your country, and I’m looking forward to doing this for the first time as a professional. I know David has played the World Cup a few times, so it will good to lean on his experience and hopefully we can do New Zealand proud. This has been an exciting year, and the World Cup will be another great experience.”

New Zealand World Cup Fun Fact: The team of Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner finished sixth at the 2000 World Cup at Buenos Aires Golf Club in Argentina. Along with the Argentine team (Angel Cabrera/Eduardo Romero), the Kiwis held a share of the first-round lead after they combined to shoot a 15-under 57. By Sunday, though, with high winds and overcast weather in the area, Nobilo/Turner found themselves 23 strokes worse than Thursday as the duo shot a final-round 80. It is the only time in World Cup history -- beginning in 2000 when the four-ball and foursomes format was introduced -- that a team has had a round in the 50s and a round in the 80s in the same tournament.

Best New Zealand Finish:
T2, 1967 (Bob Charles/Walter Godfrey); 2001, (Michael Campbell/David Smail)

New Zealand’s Total Previous Appearances:
50

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PAKISTAN


Mohammed Munir
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “I didn’t know how to describe how [I] feel right now. I’m sure everyone in Pakistan will be very happy. Hopefully we we’ll be able to perform well in China.”

Mohammed Shabbir Iqbal
Previous World Cup Appearances: None

Pakistan World Cup Fun Fact: When Pakistan finished third at the Asian Qualifier in August, earning a spot in the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup, many media outlets reported that it would be Pakistan’s first entry into the World Cup. In reality, Pakistan has made four previous World Cup appearances, the first coming in 1975 and the last in 1982. As secretary general of the Pakistan Golf Federation, Taimur Hassan knew that since he made up half of that 1975 team when he was still an active player. Hassan and Mohammed Shafiq used a combined 602 strokes over four days in Bangkok, Thailand, to tie for 29th in the 47-team field.

Best Pakistan Finish:
T24, 1982 (Ghulam Nabi/Mohammed Shafiq)

Pakistan’s Total Previous Appearances: 4

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PHILIPPINES

Mars Pucay
Previous World Cup Appearances (2): 1999, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T10 (2008, with Angelo Que)
Quotable: “It didn’t matter if we finished first, second or third (at the Asian Qualifier), it only mattered if we qualified for the World Cup. We are happy and excited making it into the World Cup again.”

Angelo Que
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T10 (2008, with Mars Pucay)
Quotable: “I don’t know what makes us good partners, probably because we are good players. It is our relationship on the golf course, because every time we are on the course it is not always about golf, we talk about other things. It really goes down to the two players as you have to be comfortable with each other.”

Philippines World Cup Fun Fact: Early in the week prior to the start of the 1977 World Cup at Wack Wack Golf Club in Manila, Philippines, Gary Player -- who would go on to win the individual title that year -- played a friendly round of golf at the Player-designed Fort Ilocandia Golf Club with Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos. “He was not bad as a player; quite good actually,” said Player. “He was very keen about golf and wanted to play, but just a few holes. But we ended up playing all 18.” So enthusiastic was Marcos about his golf that he showed up unannounced on the first tee during that year’s first round and told officials he would be hitting a ceremonial tee shot. He then grabbed seven members of his staff and proceeded to play as an eightsome prior to any of the professionals teeing off. Marcos later met with Player following the third round to receive a private lesson at the Malacañan Palace, the official Presidential residence.

Best Philippines Finish:
2nd, 1977 (Ben Arda/Rudy Lavares)

Philippines’ Total Previous Appearances: 42

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REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Charlie Wi
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2006
Best World Cup Performance: 19th (2006, with S.K. Ho)
Quotable: “It’s a really fun week. It’s best-ball, so you just go for it. It’s exciting, and the camaraderie is really fun and the atmosphere is really relaxed. It’s not like a regular tournament, and you have to have a different mentality than when you’re at a regular TOUR event.”

Y.E. Yang
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It is a pleasure to play side by side with my best buddy on the PGA TOUR. It’s a really fun feeling to debut the World Cup during one of my best golf seasons, and I am looking forward to not just making an impression on the course but also connecting with the people of China and all the golf fans in Asia.”

Republic of Korea World Cup Fun Fact: South Korea burst onto the worldwide golf scene in 1971 with its fifth-place finish at the World Cup held at PGA National in Palm Beach, Fla. Although the Koreans finished 26 strokes behind the winning U.S. team of Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino, it was, at the time, the Koreans’ highest World Cup finish, a performance that stood as the country’s best until 2002, when K.J. Choi and S.K. Ho tied for third. While Han-Chang Sang was a veteran of the World Cup, playing three times previously before 1971, he gained notoriety that year not for his golf but because he was a judo expert, having attained his black belt.

Best Republic of Korea Finish:
T3, 2002, (K.J. Choi/S.K. Ho)

Republic of Korea’s Total Previous Appearances:
39

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SCOTLAND

David Drysdale
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It’s fantastic. I can’t wait to get to China. I’m really looking forward to it. This is the first time I have represented Scotland. Alistair (Forsyth) will fill me in on what it’s all about.”

Alastair Forsyth
Previous World Cup Appearances (4): 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T9 (2003, with Paul Lawrie)
Quotable: “It would have been a disaster for us if we didn’t qualify. I think we underestimated the other teams. We thought it would be relatively easy to qualify, but that wasn’t the case. We are over the moon to have made it through.”

Scotland World Cup Fun Fact: Scotland has the second-most World Cup appearances, with 53, one behind the United States’ 54. Scotland came incredibly close to not making it 54 this year when it entered the final round of the European Qualifier in Estonia -- the first time in the country’s history that it had to qualify for the World Cup. Mired in fifth place, with only the top-three finishers advancing to the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, Scotland figured things out. All the team of David Drysdale and Alastair Forsyth did in the foursomes competition was shoot a 6-under 66, the best round of the day, to move up two spots, clinch a berth in China and keep the Scots’ consecutive appearances -- every World Cup since 1954 -- uninterrupted.

Scotland Victories (1):
2007, Colin Montgomerie/Marc Warren

Scotland’s Total Previous Appearances:
53

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SINGAPORE

Lam Chih Bing
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2002, 2005, 2006
Best World Cup Performance: 17th (2002, with Mardan Mamat; 2006, with Mardan Mamat)
Quotable: “The World Cup is such an enjoyable experience, and I really missed playing in it the last couple of years.”

Mardan Mamat
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2002, 2005, 2006
Best World Cup Performance: 17th (2002, with Lam Chih Bing; 2006, with Lam Chih Bing)
Quotable: “We take great pride in representing Singapore in the World Cup. Lam and I have featured in this event on three previous occasions, but the last was in 2006. We were determined to play our way back to the World Cup, and I’m looking forward to the week.”

Singapore World Cup Fun Fact: At the 1971 World Cup at PGA National in Palm Beach, Fla., Singapore finished last among the 46 teams. Officials didn’t assign a final score to Singapore because Phua Thin Kiay didn’t submit a scorecard following the first round. His playing partner, Alvin Liau did turn in a card, even though maybe he would have rather not. In the third round, on his way to a 98, Liau reached the 13th hole and took 18 strokes to get his ball into the hole after knocking six shots into the water.

Best Singapore Finish:
T10, 1984 (Swee-Wah Lim/Kian-Tiong Lim)

Singapore’s Total Previous Appearances:
21

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SOUTH AFRICA

Rory Sabbatini
Previous World Cup Appearances (5): 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: Won (2003, with Trevor Immelman)
Quotable: “It’s a fantastic golf course, and it’s a great venue. They really run a first-class tournament there. Mr. (David) Chu and his whole staff, they really make all the players feel welcome and take great care of us.”

Richard Sterne
Previous World Cup Appearances (2): 2006, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: 4th (2006, with Rory Sabbatini)
Quotable: “Rory is always entertaining. He’s a lot of fun, he’s got a great, fun, light atmosphere around him. So we always have a good time out there.”

South Africa World Cup Fun Fact:
The only time Africa has hosted the World Cup was in 1996, when Cape Town, South Africa’s Erinvale Golf Club was the tournament’s site. The host country took full advantage of the home-field advantage as Ernie Els and Wayne Westner teamed together and rolled to an 18-stroke victory over the U.S. team of Tom Lehman and Steve Jones. That World Cup was also the last time three African nations participated. Besides South Africa, Namibia (Trevor Dodds and Schalk Van der Merwe) and Zimbabwe (Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone) also competed.

South Africa Victories (5):
1965, Harold Henning/Gary Player
1974, Bobby Cole/Dale Hayes
1996, Ernie Els/Wayne Westner
2001, Ernie Els/Retief Goosen
2003, Trevor Immelman/Rory Sabbatini

South Africa’s Total Previous Appearances: 44

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SPAIN

Sergio Garcia
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2001, 2004, 2005
Best World Cup Performance: T2 (2004, with Miguel Angel Jimenez)
Quotable:  “The next time I see Jose María (Olazabal, the course designer) I’ll probably ask him about the course. I’ve seen a little bit of it on TV, and I’ve heard good things about it. I’m looking forward to seeing it. It’s going to be a great test like it’s been every year. I’m just hoping that my partner and I can do well.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Previous World Cup Appearances (1): 2006
Best World Cup Performance: T5 (2006, with Miguel Angel Jimenez)

Spain World Cup Fun Fact:
Ramon Sota, with his partners Sebastian Miguel (1963) and Angel Miguel (1964 and 1965), finished second, fourth and second, respectively, in three consecutive World Cups. And in nine World Cup appearances overall, Sota had three other top-10 finishes. Yet his team could never win -- something his nephew, Seve Ballesteros, was able to do for Spain in 1976 (with Manuel Pinero) and 1977 (with Antonio Garrido).

Spain Victories (4):
1976, Seve Ballesteros/Manuel Pinero
1977, Seve Ballesteros/Antonio Garrido
1982, Jose Maria Canizares/Manuel Pinero
1984, Jose Maria Canizares/Jose Rivero

Spain’s Total Previous Appearances: 51

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SWEDEN

Henrik Stenson
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 2005, 2006, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: Won (2008, with Robert Karlsson)
Quotable: “It’s something that’s different from what we play on a weekly basis. Obviously with the team format, and playing better ball and foursomes, I think it’s a whole lot of fun just to be able to play in a relaxed, but still competitive mode. It’s also a great honor to play for your country, and I think that’s the most important thing -- that we go out there and we represent Sweden.”

Robert Karlsson
Previous World Cup Appearances (2): 2001, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: Won (2008, with Henrik Stenson)
Quotable: “It was a great experience to partner with him at the World Cup. The final-round 63 (in 2008) was probably the easiest 63 we have ever produced because we hit all the important shots very well and putted great. So it was easy in that respect. It could probably have been lower, but it was a great score and turned out to be a special day for us and for Sweden.”

Sweden World Cup Fun Fact:
In the first two years of the World Cup, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland didn’t field teams. Instead, players from those countries qualified for “Scandinavia.” In the second and third World Cups, in 1954 and 1955, Swede Arne Werkell joined Dane Carl Paulsen. Werkell and Paulsen finished 21st of 25 teams in 1954 and tied for 21st in 1955. The first time Sweden fielded its own team, Werkell was again in the mix, teaming with Harry Karlsson. That year, the leading 20 teams with the lowest aggregate score continued into the final round. Sweden, with nine other countries, didn’t move on.

Sweden Victories (2):
1991, Anders Forsbrand/Per Ulrik Johansson
2008, Robert Karlsson/Henrik Stenson

Sweden’s Total Previous Appearances: 50

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THAILAND


Thongchai Jaidee
Previous World Cup Appearances (2): 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T7 (2008, with Prayad Marksaeng)
Quotable: “It’s always an honor to represent your country in the World Cup, and I’ll do my best to make my country proud. It will be nice to partner Prayad (Marksaeng) once again as we had an enjoyable time in China last year.”

Prayad Marksaeng
Previous World Cup Appearances (3): 1994, 2007, 2008
Best World Cup Performance: T7 (2008, with Thongchai Jaidee)

Thailand World Cup Fun Fact: The U.S. team of Orville Moody and Lee Trevino teamed to win the 1969 World Cup against 44 other teams at Singapore Island Country Club. While Moody was the reigning U.S. Open champion and Trevino was, well, Trevino, it was a Thai golfer who stole the show. Making his World Cup debut that year was Thailand’s Sukree Onchum, who battled Moody and Trevino for the individual title before falling two strokes short of Trevino, the eventual winner, and Moody and Taiwan’s Hsieh-Yung Yo, who all tied for third. Playing together in the final round, Trevino, Moody and Onchum (as well as Onchum’s partner Suchin Suwanapong) went back and forth all day. On the 18th hole, after Moody and Trevino congratulated each other on their team title and Trevino’s individual win, the pair picked up the 5-foot-2, 114-pound Onchum and lifted him to their shoulders as the gallery cheered. This came six years before Johnny Miller employed Thai teenage girl Thanomsri Manotam as his caddie at the World Cup at Navatanee Golf Club in Bangkok. After he had secured both the team title (with Lou Graham) and the individual title, Miller emptied his golf bag of his golf balls and hats, grabbed one of his golf clubs and presented them to her. When he was through, he pulled out his wallet, gave her a big tip and then finished with a kiss on her cheek.

Best Thailand Finish:
T4, 1969 (Sukree Onchum/Suchin Suwanapong)

Thailand’s Total Previous Appearances: 28

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UNITED STATES

Nick Watney
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “I am very excited to play in the World Cup. It will be my first trip to China, so I am looking forward to seeing another country and learning about another culture. It will also help to gain experience of playing overseas. The format will be fun. We don’t get a chance to play in many team events, so I am really looking forward to that challenge, as well as the opportunity to represent my country.”

John Merrick
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “It’s an honor to be on the team. I never played the Walker Cup or anything like that, so I’m really excited. We look to play well. Nick and I are good friends and have similar games, so I think we’ll be a good match. It’s always fun to go to new places and learn about the culture.”

United States World Cup Fun Fact: Jack Nicklaus had made birdie putts from 20 and 35 feet, respectively, on the fourth and fifth holes during the final round of the 1963 World Cup, a round shortened to nine holes because of dense fog in Paris, France. Nicklaus looked to keep the momentum going on the sixth hole but had landed his approach shot into a bunker. Seventy feet from the green, Nicklaus, who was playing with Arnold Palmer on the U.S. team, blasted out of the sand and holed his shot. There was a loud cheer for the shot, but the commotion didn’t die down. Confused, Nicklaus walked to retrieve his ball and to find out what was going on behind the green. When Nicklaus’ ball dropped in the cup, the Prince of Wales, then a mere 15 years old, became so excited, he fell off his leather-seated shooting stick and landed on his back. None the worse for wear, the first in line to the British throne dusted himself off and continued to follow the U.S. team, which went on to a three-stroke win over Spain.

United States Victories (23):
1955, Ed Furgol/Chick Harbert
1956, Ben Hogan/Sam Snead
1960, Arnold Palmer/Sam Snead
1961, Jimmy Demaret/Sam Snead
1962, Arnold Palmer/Sam Snead
1963, Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer
1964, Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer
1966, Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer
1967, Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer
1969, Orville Moody/Lee Trevino
1971, Jack Nicklaus/Lee Trevino
1973, Johnny Miller/Jack Nicklaus
1975, Lou Graham/Johnny Miller
1978, John Mahaffey/Andy North
1979, Hale Irwin/John Mahaffey
1983, Rex Caldwell/John Cook
1988, Ben Crenshaw/Mark McCumber
1992, Fred Couples/Davis Love III
1993, Fred Couples/Davis Love III
1994, Fred Couples/Davis Love III
1995, Fred Couples/Davis Love III
1999, Mark O’Meara/Tiger Woods
2000, David Duval/Tiger Woods

United States’ Total Previous Appearances: 54

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VENEZUELA

Alfredo Adrian
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “This is a great accomplishment for me as a golfer. During my four-to-five years as a professional, I have always wanted to reach the World Cup. I see it as an opportunity to measure myself against the world’s best and see what I need to work on in order to reach my dream of playing on the PGA TOUR.”

Jhonattan Vegas
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “Having the opportunity to represent our country and compete along with the world’s best players is going to be a huge pleasure.”

Venezuela World Cup Fun Fact: Ramon Munoz is one of seven golfers who has played in the World Cup in four different decades. Munoz began his World Cup career in 1968. He then played seven times in the 1970s and eight times in the 1980s. Munoz made his final World Cup appearance in 1991. The others to have four decades’ worth of World Cup experience are Jean Garailde (France), Oswald Gartenmaier (Austria), Bernhard Langer (Germany), Mohamed Said Moussa (Egypt), Jesus Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) and Seymour Rose (Jamaica).

Best Venezuela Finish:
9th, 1958 (Manolo Bernardez/Teobaldo Perez)

Venezuela’s Total Previous Appearances:
34

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WALES

Stephen Dodd
Previous World Cup Appearances: (3): 2005, 2006, 2007
Best World Cup Performance: Won (2005, with Bradley Dredge)
Quotable: “We look forward to the World Cup in China. I think Jamie (Donaldson) will relish the experience over there, and he’ll come through it with flying colors.”

Jamie Donaldson
Previous World Cup Appearances: None
Quotable: “I’m really happy to have the chance to represent Wales. I have played for my country as an amateur, but I wanted to play for Wales as a professional and it’s great to have the honor to do that.”

Wales World Cup Fun Fact: Playing the 15th hole in the final round of the 1991 World Cup at the Golf Club Le Querce in Rome, Italy, Ian Woosnam, representing Wales, was in a battle with his partner, Philip Price, against the Swedish team of Per-Ulrik Johansson and Anders Forsbrand. After hitting his approach shot to the green, Woosnam noticed a portable toilet adjacent to the green. With nature calling, Woosnam repaired his ball mark, picked up his ball and headed for the loo. Unfortunately, Woosnam failed to mark his ball with a coin. When he returned to the green, he realized his mistake, assessed himself a one-stroke penalty after approximating where his ball previously sat. Three holes later, Forsbrand and Johansson were celebrating their one-stroke victory over Wales. As a consolation, Woosnam defeated Australia’s Brett Ogle in a playoff to win the International Trophy that went to the individual winner.

Wales Victories (2):
1987, David Llewellyn/Ian Woosnam
2005, Stephen Dodd/Bradley Dredge

Wales’ Total Previous Appearances: 52