In a huge coup for Australian golf, Royal Melbourne has been announced as the host of the 2013 World Cup of Golf to be held November 21 – 24, 2013.
Rumours have been circulating that of the world’s oldest golf tournaments was destined for Australia when it was reported that the World Cup was to move from Mission Hills in China following a sponsorship dispute.
Reportedly, the Victorian Major Events company stepped in and the PGA of Australia confirmed the rumour today adding that the event will boast total prize money of $8 million with the format replicating the one to be used at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and world golf ranking points awarded.
According to the PGA of Australia announcement the format is as follows:
The field will include 60 players (no cut), with eligibility taken from the Official World Golf Ranking. Up to four players can qualify, per country, if they are in the top 15 of the OWGR.
Beyond No. 15, up to a maximum of two players per country can qualify.
If two or more players from a country qualify, then the country is eligible for team competition, with the top-two players comprising the qualified team.
The event at Royal Melbourne will be the 57th World Cup of Golf and was last held in Australia as part of the country’s bicentennial celebrations in 1988 when the United States defeated Japan.
For such a prestigious teams event the format isn’t exactly thrilling, or indeed very different from most other week-to-week golf tournaments, however the prize money and the Royal Melbourne factor may well entice the world’s best.
The timing of the event is crucial too.
The Australian Masters is scheduled for Royal Melbourne a week prior to the World Cup. The same tournament infrastructure will be used for the World Cup of Golf which helped clinch the event.
The Australian summer of golf is now set and looks to be a beauty.
The Australian PGA Championship starts the summer at Royal Pines (November 7 – 10) on the Gold Coast, just a week after the WGC HSBC Champions event in China. The timing of this event could see big name golfers make the journey down under for not just the Australian PGA, but the Australian Masters (November 14 – 17) and the Australian Open at Royal Sydney to be held a week after the World Cup (Nov 28 – Dec 1).
Australian golf pundits and fans have worried that the momentum gained when Australia hosted the Presidents Cup in 2011 would soon be lost. The proceeding summer of golf in 2012 was always going to be delivered with less hype and less notable players, but this announcement may go some way to kick start the momentum again.
If the event finds a permanent home at Royal Melbourne, the momentum may roll on for many years to come.