Power Rankings: ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golftext sizeNovember 18, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
If you've been curious how the return of golf in the Olympics in 2016 will unfold, this week's ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf will provide a solid taste. The biennial competition will still declare a champion team of two representing their country, but the emphasis in the 57th edition of this event is on the individual competition over 72 holes.
Sixty golfers qualified via a series of updated criteria. Just one-eighth of the $8 million purse is reserved for the team component of which 26 partnerships will be chasing. Eight countries are represented by only one golfer and will not compete for the team prize.
The famed Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia hosts for the fourth time. For this competition, the Composite Course will be played just as it was for the Presidents Cup and the Talisker Masters. It features 12 holes from the West Course and six holes from the East. The amalgamation tops out at 7,046 yards and plays as a par 35-36=71.
Rain cannot be ruled out during any of the four days scheduled. Clouds are expected to prevent the temperature from hitting 70 degrees. Winds will be light to moderate.
The rankings below reflect the unique format of the World Cup.
Power Rankings: World Cup -- singles Rank Player Comment Adam SCOTT Third appearance; first since 2002. Returned from six-week break to win first two legs of the Aussie Triple Crown by an aggregate six shots. Jason DAY Event debut. Remains committed despite loss of eight family members to Typhoon Haiyan. Emotional component could fuel special week at home. Matt KUCHAR Won (with Gary Woodland) in his debut in 2011. Chased a T7 at The McGladrey Classic with a solo second at Royal Melbourne on Sunday. Ryo ISHIKAWA Event debut. Played 2011 Presidents Cup. A T2 in Japan last week is his fifth top 10 in eight starts dating back to the Web.com Tour Finals. Victor DUBUISSON Event debut. Finished sixth in the Race to Dubai on the strength of a torrid finish. Won in Turkey and then placed third at the DP World. Miguel Angel JIMENEZ Making field-high 14th appearance. In 18 starts following broken leg in January, posted five top 10s, including T8 at Race to Dubai finale. Graeme McDOWELL Fourth consecutive appearance. Ended recent slump with a solo third at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Tied for 17th in Dubai on Sunday. Francesco MOLINARI Sixth appearance; 2009 champ. Solo 13th at the DP World Tour Championship. No worse than a T25 in his last five starts. Hideto TANIHARA Third appearance. Fresh off a one-shot win (over teammate Ryo Ishikawa) on the Japan Golf Tour. Top 15s in his last three starts. Vijay SINGH Third appearance (2001, 2002). Since a solo second at Frys.com, he's added a T23 at the Shriners and a solo third at the Talisker Masters. Power Rankings: World Cup -- teams Rank
With Adam Scott's current form, Jason Day's recent tragedy and the home crowd supporting, it's their trophy to lose. Japan
Both Ryo Ishikawa and Hideto Tanihara are in fantastic form. Will be attempting to give Japan its third title in the event (1957, 2002). United States
Defending champion Matt Kuchar joins forces with first-timer Kevin Streelman. Americans won the last time Royal Melbourne hosted (1988). Sweden
Peter Hanson has two top 10s in his last three starts. First-timer Jonas Blixt quietly placed 12th at the DP World Tour Championship. Italy
Francesco Molinari teams with first-timer Matteo Manassero. Remainder of the top 10 (in order): France, Ireland, Spain, Thailand, Germany.