World Cup guide
Check out the contenders and form guide for Royal Melbourne
By Dave Tindall Twitter: @DaveTindallgolf
Last Updated: 19/11/13 6:05pm
The World Cup is back in Australia for the first time in 25 years and fourth time in all.
This week's venue Royal Melbourne was also the location for all three previous visits in 1959, 1972 and 1988.
However, the competition has undergone a complete revamp, with most of those teeing-up this week chasing victory on two fronts.
While the team element continues, the main focus will now be as an individual event, with the tournament following the format to be used when golf takes its place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Eight of the 60 players will only compete for the individual prize while the remaining 52 will form part of the 26 two-man team event.
The combined 72-hole totals of the two players representing each nation will determine the finishing order of the team competition - thus the country with the lowest 144-hole total will be deemed the winner.
As for the venue, Royal Melbourne is probably Australia's best known course and certainly its most revered.
The club was formed in 1891, moving to its current home ten years later.
The composite layout features 12 holes from the club's West Course and six from the East.
NATION-by-NATION FORM GUIDE for TEAM EVENT
Performances Since 2000
Player: '00 / '01 / '02 / '03 / '04 / '05 / '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '11
Argentina: 2 / T8 / T6 / 13 / 19 / T6 / T5 / T6 / - / 19 / -
Australia: T12 / T14 / T6 / T15 / T10 / T17 / T8 / 21 / T3 / 6 / T4
Brazil: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / 26 / T23
Canada: T10 / T6 / T8 / - / 20 / - / T15 / T17 / T13 / 25 / -
Chile: - / - / - / Wd / - / - / - / - / T10 / T12 / -
China: - / T17 / - / - / - / - / - / T11 / T17 / T22 / T18
Denmark: - / T2 / 11 / 19 / 14 / 5 / 18 / 10 / T13 / T14 / T13
England: 16 / 5 / T3 / 2 / Won / T2 / T15 / 4 / 6 / 4 / T2
Finland: 21 / - / - / - / - / - / - / T13 / 21 / - / -
France: 20 / T8 / T17 / 3 / T15 / 4 / 20 / 3 / T10 / T20 / T13
Germany: T7 / - / 21 / 4 / T7 / 8 / Won / T6 / 5 / T7 / T2
India: - / - / - / 22 / - / 9 / - / T17 / T17 / T14 / -
Ireland: T10 / T14 / T8 / T5 / 3 / T12 / T12 / 24 / 16 / T2 / T4
Italy: - / - / - / - / 17 / - / T8 / T17 / T19 / Won / 17
Japan: 4 / T11 / Won / T7 / T10 / T15 / 23 / 25 / T3 / 5 / T20
Netherlands: - / 22 / - / - / T5 / T6 / - / T6 / - / - / T4
New Zealand: T6 / T2 / T17 / T15 / T15 / - / - / 27 / T22 / T20 / 16
Philippines: - / 24 / - / - / - / - / - / T22 / T10 / T16 / -
Portugal: - / - / - / - / - / T20 / - / - / T13 / - / T20
Scotland: 5 / T11 / T12 / T9 / 18 / T20 / 2 / Won / T19 / 28 / T4
South Africa: T12 / Won / 5 / Won / 4 / T12 / 4 / 5 / T7 / T7 / 12
South Korea: T17 / - / T3 / T9 / T10 / T12 / 19 / T11 / 26 / T7 / T9
Spain: T7 / T6 / - / 14 / 2 / T10 / T5 / T13 / 2 / 27 / T9
Sweden: T7 / 16 / T14 / T7 / T7 / T2 / 3 / T6 / Won / T2 / 25
Thailand: T17 / - / - / 23 / - / - / - / T15 / T7 / T16 / T18
United States: Won / T2 / 2 / T5 / T7 / T17 / T5 / 2 / 9 / T7 / Won
No. of Teams: 24 / 24 / 24 / 24 / 24 / 24 / 24 / 28 / 28 / 28 / 28
Argentina: (Emiliano Grillo; Fabian Gomez)
Australia: (Adam Scott; Jason Day)
Austria: (Bernd Wiesberger)*
Bangladesh: (Siddikur Rahman)*
Belgium: (Nicolas Colsaerts*
Brazil: (Adilson da Silva; Alexandre Rocha)
Canada: (Brad Fritsch; David Hearn)
Chile: (Felipe Aguilar; Mark Tullo)
China: (Wen-Chong Liang; Ashun Wu)
Chinese Taipei: (Wen-Tang Lin)*
Denmark: (Thomas Bjorn; Thorbjorn Olesen)
England: (Danny Willett; Chris Wood)
Fiji: (Vijay Singh)*
Finland: (Mikko Korhonen; Roope Kakko)
France: (Gregory Bourdy; Victor Dubuisson)
Germany: (Marcel Siem; Maximilian Kieffer
India: (Anirban Lahiri; Gaganjeet Bhullar)
Ireland: (Shane Lowry; Graeme McDowell)
Italy: (Francesco Molinari; Matteo Manassero)
Japan: (Hideto Tanihara; Ryo Ishikawa)
Netherlands: (Robert-Jan Derksen; Tim Sluiter)
New Zealand: (Mike Hendry; Tim Wilkinson)
Norway: (Espen Kofstad)*
Philippines: (Angelo Que; Tony Lascuna)
Portugal: (Jose-Filipe Lima; Ricardo Santos)
Scotland: (Martin Laird; Stephen Gallacher)
South Africa: (Branden Grace; George Coetzee)
South Korea: (KJ Choi; Sang-Moon Bae)
Spain: (Miguel Angel Jimenez; Rafael Cabrera-Bello)
Sweden: (Jonas Blixt; Peter Hanson)
Thailand: (Kiradech Aphibarnrat; Prayad Marksaeng)
United States: (Matt Kuchar; Kevin Streelman)
Wales: (Stuart Manley)*
Zimbabwe: (Brendon de Jonge)*
Note: * - Only competing in the individual event
Royal Melbourne: Par 72; 6,985 yards
Winning Teams (Since 2000):
2011: United States (Matt Kuchar/Gary Woodland)
2009: Italy (Francesco Molinari/Edoardo Molinari)
2008: Sweden (Robert Karlsson/Henrik Stenson)
2007: Scotland (Colin Montgomerie/Marc Warren)
2006: Germany (Bernhard Langer/Marcel Siem)
2005: Wales (Bradley Dredge/Stephen Dodd)**
2004: England (Paul Casey/Luke Donald)
2003: South Africa (Rory Sabbatini/Trevor Immelman)
2002: Japan (Shigeki Maruyama/Toshi Izawa)
2001: South Africa (Ernie Els/Retief Goosen)
2000: United States (Tiger Woods/David Duval)
Note: ** - Reduced to three rounds due to bad weather
Host Countries since 2000:
2000 Argentina; 2001 Japan; 2002 Mexico; 2003 United States; 2004 Spain; 2005 Portugal; 2006 Barbados; 2007-08-09-11 China
WORLD CUP HISTORY
There have been 15 different winners of the World Cup since the competition began in 1953.
Here is an alphabetical breakdown of the champion nations:
Wins: Country (Most Recent Triumph)
1: Argentina (1953)
4: Australia (1989)
3: Canada (1985)
2: England (2004)
2: Germany (2006)
2: Japan (2002)
2: Ireland (1997)
1: Italy (2009)
1: Scotland (2007)
5: South Africa (2003)
4: Spain (1984)
2: Sweden (2008)
1: Taiwan (1972)
24: United States (2011)
2: Wales (2005)
Note: From 2009 the World Cup became a biennial event.
Always a tricky event to assess, the picture is even more confused this year with the team element diluted to such an extent that some countries haven't even got the full contingent of two players!
With home-soil advantage and an very bang-in-form Adam Scott, the Aussies are favourites but 6/4 looks dreadfully short for a bet.
The Americans always seem to thrive in this event and must be considered but 6/1 in this format looks short with Kevin Streelman not guaranteed to boost Matt Kuchar's score.
So how about taking a risk and getting with Germany at a very big 66/1.
Marcel Siem and Max Kieffer get on well (even though, like all the teams, they actually tee off in separate groups) and Siem won this with Bernhard Langer in 2006.
Kieffer, just 23, has enjoyed a fine season and after cracking the top 20 in Turkey a few weeks ago he came to this venue and finished 16th in the Aussie Masters so will have an advantage over many in this field.
Germany are normally much shorter in the betting for this so 66/1 appears a bit of value.
Japan at 40/1 also look interesting.
Main man Ryo Ishikawa has finished runner-up in two of his last four events - the PGA Tour event in Las Vegas and the Japan Tour's Taiheiyo Masters so is in fine shape. He also played in the 2011 Presidents Cup here, beating Bubba Watson 3 and 2 in the singles.
The man he lost to in Japan last week was none other than his playing partner this week, Hideto Tanihara.
The 35-year-old, who once came fifth in The Open (in hot, dry (Aussie?) conditions at Hoylake) will be playing in his third World Cup and hopefully will prove a strong ally to the in-form Ishikawa.
Ishikawa is also worth a bet in the individual competition at 40/1 given his recent play while also give Kieffer a go in that market at 125/1.
1pt e.w. Germany at 66/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Japan at 40/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Ryo Ishikawa at 40/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)
1pt e.w. Max Kieffer at 125/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)