November 14, 2013
There are plenty of familiar names – and major champions -- among the 60 players competing this week at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.
The event, which features both an individual and team component, will be played Thursday through Sunday at Royal Melbourne, one of the most famous golf courses in the world.
PGATOUR.COM polled three of its experts for the teams they expect to finish Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Here are their picks, in order of position.
Italy: The 2009 champions have another formidable duo in Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero. Molinari was part of the 2009 team, while Manassero won the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW Championship, this year.
Australia: The home team has two of the world's top 20 players in Adam Scott and Jason Day. Both played the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne and Scott gets a sneak peek at this week's Talisker Masters.
USA: Matt Kuchar was half of the United States' winning duo in 2011. He also played The Presidents Cup and Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne.
Australia: With both Adam Scott and Jason Day ranked in the top 20 in the world, this was a formidable team to start with -- and they'll get a big boost from the home support. Not to mention, Scott is playing at Royal Melbourne this week in the Talisker Masters.
U.S.: Matt Kuchar is the steady-eddy in this duo while Kevin Streelman, who picked up his first PGA TOUR win earlier this year, is making his international team competition debut. Kuchar is a former World Cup winner with another newbie, Gary Woodland, in 2011.
Ireland: Graeme McDowell, who has three wins worldwide this year, has played in the World Cup four times while Shane Lowry is making his debut. Both are playing in the European Tour's season ender in Dubai this week, though, so jet lag could be a factor.
U.S.: Matt Kuchar is coming off arguably a career year and was on the winning side for the Americans in 2011. He also has experience playing at Royal Melbourne having played on the U.S. Presidents Cup team when the event was held there in 2011.
Ireland: Graeme McDowell has plenty of experience -- and success -- in this event with a runner-up in 2011 and a fourth-place finish in 2009. He and partner Shane Lowry will be a formidable duo.
Australia: Adam Scott and Jason Day are the home team here and as such there's going to be a ton of pressure and expectation on them to win. Usually when that happens, it doesn't go that way but given their current form they'll play well enough to contend.