As players who are competing in next week’s ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf continued to shine with victories on three different Tours by Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Sweden’s Alex Noren, tournament officials also announced changes to the field including the withdrawal of England’s Danny Willett and Welsh player Jamie Donaldson.
The ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf will bring together the world’s top golfers to compete at Kingston Heath Golf Club from 24-27 November in one of golf’s only global team events, with 28 two-man teams representing their countries.
There is arguably no player on the planet in better form than Matsuyama. With his seven-stroke victory at the Japan Golf Tour’s Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters on Sunday, Matsuyama now has three international victories in his last four starts. Before winning this weekend, the 24-year-old became the first Asian player to win a World Golf Championships event with his victory in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions in late October. Two weeks previously, Matsuyama won the Japan Golf Tour’s Japan Open by three strokes.
Matsuyama will be paired with fellow Japanese prodigy Ryo Ishikawa. Together, the two are quickly becoming one of the favourites to take home the World Cup in the 58th edition of the historic event.
“I’m really looking forward to the World Cup of Golf. Anytime you get the opportunity to represent your country, it’s a great honour. I’m looking forward to playing well and hopefully we can team together for a victory,” Matsuyama said.
Another of the world’s hottest players, Noren posted a closing 63 to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player by six shots and claim his fourth European Tour victory of the season. The Swede carded an eagle, eight birdies and a solitary bogey to finish the week at 14-under-par and move to third in the Race to Dubai Rankings. Noren has also won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Omega European Masters and the British Masters supported by Sky Sports this year on the European Tour. He will team up with David Lingmerth to represent Sweden at the World Cup of Golf.
On the Asian Tour, Chawrasia won his fourth international victory on the second playoff hole at the Resorts World Manila Masters. The win at the richest golf tournament in the Philippines was a first for the 38-year-old outside his native India, and was one to remember after he birdied the 18th playoff hole twice to clinch victory over Sam Chien of the United States and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung. Chawrasia will team up with Chikkarangappa S. to represent India.
“I’m looking forward to getting a week’s rest back home before flying to Melbourne for the World Cup of Golf. The game’s been good and the season’s been nothing short of great too, having won my home open earlier this year,” he said. “This win will give me a boost in confidence and shape my game up nicely for the World Cup of Golf in two weeks’ time.”
In addition to the strong play of the players noted above, tournament officials announced that England’s Danny Willett has chosen to withdraw from the World Cup of Golf. His WD means that Justin Rose, the next highest-ranked player from England in the Official World Golf Ranking from the original standings used the week after the U.S. PGA Championship, was invited. Rose, who is recovering from back surgery, opted not to play. The next player from England, Chris Wood, committed to the event. Wood was then able to select the partner of his choice, choosing Andy Sullivan which means that Lee Westwood no longer had a spot in this year’s event.
Wood is playing in the event for the second time in his career, while Sullivan will be making his debut for England. Both players made their Ryder Cup debuts at Hazeltine National in September, and also represented Europe in the EURASIA Cup at the start of the year. Wood is a three-time winner on the European Tour, including the BMW PGA Championship. Sullivan is also a three-time winner on the European Tour with three victories in 2015.
In addition to the changes for England, Donaldson recently withdrew from the Wales team with Bradley Dredge selecting Stuart Manley to be his partner. Below is the updated field for the upcoming ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.
Name Country Partner
Rickie Fowler USA Jimmy Walker
Adam Scott AUS Marc Leishman
Hideki Matsuyama JPN Ryo Ishikawa
Chris Wood ENG Andy Sullivan
Russell Knox SCO Duncan Stewart
Rafa Cabrera Bello ESP Jon Rahm
Shane Lowry IRL Graeme McDowell
Byeong Hun An KOR K.T. Kim
Thongchai Jaidee THA Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Soren Kjeldsen DEN Thorbjorn Olesen
Danny Lee NZL Ryan Fox
Alex Noren SWE David Lingmerth
Francesco Molinari ITA Matteo Manassero
Bernd Wiesberger AUT Martin Wiegele
Thomas Pieters BEL Nicolas Colsaerts
Joost Luiten NED Darius van Driel
Jaco Van Zyl RSA George Coetzee
Jhonattan Vegas VEN Julio Vegas
Victor Dubuisson FRA Romain Langasque
Bradley Dredge WAL Stuart Manley
Alex Cejka GER Stephan Jaeger
Ricardo Gouveia POR Jose-Filipe Lima
David Hearn CAN Adam Hadwin
Ashun Wu CHN Haotong Li
Miguel Tabuena PHI Angelo Que
Cheng Tsung Pan TPE Chan Shih-chang
SSP Chawrasia IND Chikarangappa S.
Danny Chia MAS Nicholas Fung
The 2016 World Cup will be the 58th staging of this event. For ticket information and to follow all of the news, player features and more as the event approaches, the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf web-site is http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/isps-handa-world-cup-of-golf.html.