Scott headlines new-look WC

2013-11-20 10:02
Adam Scott (Getty Images)

Melbourne - This week's reformatted World Cup of Golf could witness the bizarre scenario of Adam Scott fighting Australian team-mate Jason Day for victory in the $8 million event at Royal Melbourne.

In contrast to the full two-man team format over the past six decades, this year's field features 52 players in two-man teams from 26 countries.

But it also has another eight players, including Belgian-born Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts, Fiji's Vijay Singh and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, teeing off on their own to make up a field of 60.

While 52 players will fight for the $1 million first place team prize, the other eight "single country" players will be ineligible. However, all 60 are eligible for the $1.2 million first prize cheque for the individual champion.

The revised format is a prelude to the one that will be used when golf re-enters the Olympics in 2016 in Brazil, although England, Wales and Scotland, who are competing individually this week, will come under the Great Britain umbrella in Rio.

Unlike all prior World Cup's since the inaugural event in 1953, team-mates will compete in different groups over the first two days, with world number two Scott paired with American Matt Kuchar and Italy's Matteo Manassero on Thursday .

If they should be grouped together over the weekend then under the new rules neither player can offer advice to the other or be able to concede any putts.

"The new format is a little strange," said Scott, who is in red-hot form after winning back-to-back tournaments in Australia over the past fortnight.

"I was kind of hoping I would be spending the four days playing alongside Jason as I thought that would be good for both of us but then this event is trying to find a new identity, I guess.

"So we are running with this new format this year ahead of taking it to the Olympics in 2016, so we will see how it pans out."

Kuchar teamed with countryman Gary Woodland to capture the last World Cup two years ago in China, but this time he pairs with Kevin Streelman, a winner this year of the Tampa Bay Championship and runner-up in the Players Championship.

However, world number seven Kuchar is still getting over the disappointment of double-bogeying the final hole on Sunday to let slip victory to Scott in the Australian Masters.

"The 7-iron second shot I hit on Sunday was just two to three inches away from being perfect and that is one of the things you learn in playing Royal Melbourne, and that is the fine line between good and bad," said Kuchar.

"There are places where you can be aggressive and there (are) other places where you have to be conservative. So it would be nice now to go one better this week and for Kevin and myself to ensure the trophy stays in American hands."

Other teams likely to be in contention include Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Miguel Angel Jimenez, and the Japanese pairing of Ryo Ishikawa and Hideto Tanihara.

Veteran Jimenez has made 13 previous World Cup appearances but it will be the first for Cabrera-Bello, who is aiming to lean on his elder teammate's experience.

"Spain have come very close to winning in recent years, so hopefully we can go one better this time," he said.

"Even though it is mainly a stroke-play event, I'm sure we will be encouraging each other and looking out for each other's scores during the week."

Read more on:    adam scott  |  golf

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