The 28 two-man teams who will be representing their countries at the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup joined sponsors and tournament officials at the opening ceremony at the Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China on Wednesday, where the 55th World Cup is being contested.
Wearing matching World Cup blazers, the 56 golfers posed in three rows around the John Jay Hopkins Trophy which will be lifted by the winners after the fourth round on Sunday. A row of 28 flag bearers in red jump suits and white caps stood in a row behind the golfers, holding aloft the flags of each of the competing nations.
The first row of golfers was flanked by the Chinese host team and by the Swedish team of Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson, who won the World Cup in 2008. They hope to defend their title but will have stiff competition from a field which includes six of the world’s top twenty golfers. Stenson is currently ranked number seven and leads a player roster which includes Spain’s Sergio Garcia (8th) and Irishman Rory McIlroy (10th). Also playing for their countries are Germany’s Martin Kaymer, who is ranked twelfth in the world, and an English team which features two players who are in the world top twenty: Ian Pouter (13th) and Ross Fisher (20th).
Asia’s golfing nations are also well represented. Four of Asia’s five top ranked golfers are competing at Mission Hills, including PGA Championship winner YE Yang of Korea, Jeev Milkha Singh of India, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, China’s Liang Wen-Chong and Lin Wen-Tang of Chinese Taipei.
2009 – The challenge continues
Since 2007 the Omega Mission Hills World Cup has been staged on the Olazábal Course. Its challenging 7251-yard layout was designed by double Masters Tournament Champion José Maria Olazábal.
The 2009 edition of the World Cup will alternate formats in the same way as it has been done the previous two years: the first and third rounds will feature fourball (better ball); the second and final rounds will be foursomes (alternate shot).
The World Cup was founded in 1953 by industrialist John Jay Hopkins who had a vision that golf could build bridges and promote goodwill among nations.
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