The World Cup of Golf is getting commitments from some of the game's biggest international stars. Matt Kuchar (USA), Matteo Manassero (Italy) and Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) have announced that they want to represent their respective countries in the tournament. Officials have declared that tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster. This will be the 57th edition of the World Cup of Golf.
Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar won the tournament in back in 2011 at the Mission Hills Resort, in Hainan Island, China. Kuchar won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship as well as The Memorial Tournament this year on the PGA Tour and was part of the winning 2011 U.S. Presidents Cup team when it was held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Since 2010, Kuchar has finished in the top ten 36 times on the PGA Tour. He currently holds the sixth position in the official rankings.
"Representing my country is a real honour whether in The Ryder Cup, The Presidents Cup or the World Cup. It was a great experience to win the World Cup in 2011 with Gary Woodland and I am looking forward to "defending" at Royal Melbourne," said Kuchar.
Manassero will want to bring the championship trophy back to Italy after the Edoardo and Francesco Molinari won the event in 2009. He is ranked 28th. He is yet to turn 21 and already has four career European Tour victories, a clear potential for the future of golf.
His win in May this year at the BMW PGA Championship made him the youngest ever winner of The European Tour's flagship event. In 2010, he became the youngest winner in European Tour history thanks to his victory in the 2010 Castell Masters aged 17 years and 188 days.
"I'm genuinely excited about playing in the World Cup, and can't wait to make my debut at Royal Melbourne. It's not often that you get the chance to play for your country as well as yourself, so I really want to play well and help make it a great week for Italy," Manassero said. "When Edoardo and Francesco won in 2009 it was huge news in Italy, so hopefully I can help bring the trophy back home again."
Thongchai is the only man with three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, represents the global nature of the World Cup of Golf, having played across the globe. With 13 victories on the Asian Tour which include three co-sanctioned tournaments with The European Tour and another victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open in 2012, Thongchai has shown he can compete at the highest level of the game. His best finish in 2013 came at The European Tour's Volvo World Match Play Championship, where he finished runner-up to Graeme McDowell.
"I always enjoy playing in the World Cup, it's a great tournament and obviously a little bit different from the events we usually play," Thongchai said. "You want to do well when you are playing for your country, so I will give it my best shot."
Minister for Tourism Louise Asher welcomed the commitments and felt that it was good for the game.
"I am sure that this will be a great showcase for golf in this state and I am delighted that three champions of the sport will be playing in the World Cup. It is exciting that once again Royal Melbourne will be showcased to a global audience through this top international competition," she said.