Change to Team England for World Cup of Golf

Reigning Masters champion Danny Willett has withdrawn from the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath in a fortnight, leading to a complete reshuffle of the England team for the US$8 million dollar event.

Willett has been struggling for form and motivation after the biggest year of his life, which included the birth of his first child just before his win at Augusta National in April.

Danny Willett Danny Willett (Credit: Callaway Golf)

Willett’s withdrawal means that Justin Rose, the next highest-ranked player from England in the world rankings, was invited but he declined due to his ongoing recovery from a back injury.

The next available Englishman, Chris Wood, has committed to the event and was then able to select his playing partner. He chose Andy Sullivan which meant Lee Westwood will no longer have a start in this year’s event.

Wood made his World Cup debut at the 2013 event at Royal Melbourne while Sullivan will be making his debut for England.

While the loss of Willett and Westwood is a blow from a marquee name standpoint, the England team will hardly miss a beat with both players being multiple European Tour winners and Ryder Cup debutants at Hazeltine National this year.

In addition to the changes for England, Jamie Donaldson recently withdrew from the Wales team with Bradley Dredge selecting Stuart Manley as his playing partner.

Players competing in next week’s ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf continued to shine last week with victories on three different Tours by Alex Noren, Hideki Matsuyama and SSP Chawrasia.

Both Noren and Matsuyama have been in sublime form at the highest level in recent months and will be the players to watch at Kingston Heath.

The Australian team of Adam Scott and Marc Leishman will attempt to defend the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf title in the 28 two-man team format from November 24-27.