Defending champs face strong field at World Cup

Defending champions Team Denmark are hoping that their individual golf styles will once again complement one another as the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf gets underway tomorrow.

Soren Hansen envied for his consistent play and his flashy teammate, Thorbjorn Olesen have arrived at Metropolitan Golf Club with great memories of recording Denmark’s first World Cup victory.

Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen (Credit: Anthony Powter)

“Obviously we had a great time two years ago; it was really special to be able to win the World Cup. Being the first time Denmark has ever done it makes it that much more special,” said Olesen.

While the Danish team hope to join America and Spain as the only teams to successfully defend the World Cup, they will have some hot competition from the field including Team England and host country; Team Australia.

“We’re probably one of the better teams because we have a lot of confidence and we’ve proven that we can do it. So yeah, I would put us up in that top‑5 teams of favourites. There are a lot of strong teams. Obviously the Australians, the Americans,” said Olesen, who believes Team Denmark’s edge may lie in their determination.

TV GUIDE

The World Cup of Golf will be broadcast live on Channel 9 from November 22 (THU) to November 25 (SUN) 2018. All times listed are local.

  • Sydney – 12pm
  • Melbourne – 12pm
  • Brisbane – 11am
  • Adelaide – 11.30am
  • Perth – 9am

While Olesen teamed-up with Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter for the Ryder Cup where Europe was triumphant, this time they will go head-to-head as the English duo combine to represent their country.

“Team events are pretty special. It couldn’t happen often enough. I think when you look at the schedule, obviously coming off of a great Ryder Cup team event, when you look at the type of course that we’re playing this week, it’s easy to get very fired up to come and play golf,” said Poulter.

“I’m very much looking forward to putting the England shirt on and obviously getting out there tomorrow, and hopefully the weather’s going to be kind.”

Meanwhile, Team Australia has utilised every piece of home-town knowledge and connections to their advantage.

Victorian amateur David Micheluzzi who finished tied fifth and low amateur at the Emirates Australian Open last week, shared his home course knowledge of Metropolitan Golf Club with Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith.

“It’s great of him (Micheluzzi) to come out. Obviously, he’s a great player and played very well last week,” said Leishman.

“There are a few holes that look a lot narrower off the tee than what they actually are and shots into the greens that look very narrow just because of the positioning of bunkers, and then when you get up there they’re really wide.

“He helped us with that, just showing us where’s fine, where’s not fine. Yeah, it was good of him to come out and hopefully, that will pay off at the end of the week.”

With Smith, who is just three years Micheluzzi’s senior, adding; “He kind of kept out of the way, but kind of gave his information. It was actually quite helpful.

“A couple of those tee shots and hitting them into trees and knowing where to land them, it was pretty good.”

Team Australia will tee it up alongside Team USA at 10.35am in the last group of the day after play was moved forward due to expected bad weather.

Source – PGA Australia