Australia in the running to host the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne.
The time-honoured teams event has been held at China’s Mission Hills since 2007 but, with its major sponsor understood to have pulled out, the sanctioning US PGA Tour has approached its Australian counterpart to host the biennial tournament.
It’s understood talks with potential backers have progressed sufficiently that Royal Melbourne is the frontrunner to host from November 21-24, the week after the Australian Masters at the same venue, enabling repeat use of tournament infrastructure.
One might be tempted to dismiss this as some Mickey Mouse event but consider that the tournament has been around for 57 years, it been hosted at China’s Mission Hills golf resort for the past five years and lured some of the world’s best golfers.
Last year for instance, golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Nicolas Colsaerts were some of the big name golfers who represented their country in the four day teams event.
Hayes reports that a decision on the venue for the World Cup may take place at next week’s US Masters and includes a change of format.
With little more than seven months to prepare, a decision is needed soon and could be reached at next week’s US Masters at Augusta National, where world golf’s powerbrokers will meet.
Importantly, the World Cup is to adopt the same tournament style as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where golf will make its return as a medal sport after 112 years, and the 72-hole team and individual strokeplay format – with a twist – needs to be tested.
Last week we expressed surprise that there was a two week break between the scheduling of the 2013 Australian Masters and the Australian Open.
Perhaps Australian golf organisers have left the November dates free in the hope of hosting the World Cup of Golf.