The World Cup of Golf was a highly regarded and popular team mixed stroke play tournament held between 1953 and 2018. For the majority of the World Cup of Golf’s history the tournament was held every year. It was a little more sporadic in the latter years but the quality of the players competing remained very high throughout.
Unlike some of the newer team events that have been added onto the schedules, the format for the World Cup of Golf was a fairly simple one. It’s was a 72 hole stroke play event with the first two days comprising of rounds of better ball, before alternate shot was used at the weekend.
Winning the World Cup was always about more than having two high quality players, it was about that partnership working together. The size of the winning margins in recent years shows that pairings who clicked together could stretch their legs and pull away from the field.
By far and away the best performing nation has been the USA. They have been champions on twenty four occasions and have been runners-up eleven times. The next best on the list are Australia and South Africa with five wins each. The most successful players at the World Cup were Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer who were both part of a winning team at six world cups.
|Metropolitan Golf Club||South Oakleigh, Victoria||6,170 Yards||$7,000,000|
World Cup of Golf Recent Winners
|Year||Winner||To Par||Winning Margin||Course|
|2018||Belgium||-23||3 Strokes||Metropolitan Golf Club|
|2016||Denmark||-20||4 Strokes||Kingston Heath Golf Club|
|2013||Australia||-17||10 Strokes||Royal Melbourne Golf Club|
|2011||United States||-24||2 Strokes||Mission Hills Golf Club|
|2009||Italy||-29||1 Stroke||Mission Hills Golf Club|
|2008||Sweden||-27||3 Strokes||Mission Hills Golf Club|
About the World Cup of Golf
The World Cup of Golf was founded by Canadian John Jay Hopkins, the founder of an aerospace and defence firm. In contrast to most tournaments, the World Cup is contested between teams of two who represent their countries. The first edition of the tournament, which was called the Canada Cup back then, took place in Montreal in 1953, with Argentina running out winners in the inaugural tournament. From 1967, the Canada Cup changed its name to the World Cup.
The international event has been played at various places all over the world, with America hosting the most with 11. England hosted the 1956 version, which was won by Ben Hogan and Sam Snead of team United States. In the tournament’s heyday, the World Cup of Golf was one of the most prestigious events on the golfing calendar.
During the period spanning 1955 to 1999, the International Trophy was awarded to the players with the best score over the tournament, but since 1999 there has there has been just the team award. (Other than in 2013 when an individual trophy was won by Australia’s Jason Day who beat Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn by two strokes.) Jack Nicklaus is the record International Trophy winner with three victories.
England Beat Spain in Seville
The British have not been too successful in the World Cup of Golf. In fact, between all the great British players over the years, the United Kingdom have won just five titles, with Ireland winning two. Wales became the first winners from the United Kingdom when the team of David Llewellyn and Ian Woosnam beat Scotland’s Sandy Lyle and Sam Torrance to first place in 1987. Wales won again in 2005 when Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge triumphed ahead of England’s Luke Donald and David Howell, and Sweden’s Niclas Fasth and Henrik Stenson.
England first tasted victory in 1998 in Auckland, New Zealand when David Carter and Nick Faldo beat Massimo Florioli and Costantino Rocca of Italy. Six years later, the English were on top of the world once again. Paul Casey and Luke Donald beat home stars Sergio Garcia and Manuel Angel Jimenez in Seville, Spain in 2004.
As for the Scots, they have picked up just one win in this tournament. Back in 2007, Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren edged out the United States duo of Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley in Shenzhen, China.
Australia Win on Home Soil in 2013
The 2013, 2016 and 2018 editions of the tournament – which were the last three at the time of writing – took place in Melbourne, Australia. The Metropolitan Golf Club, which is regarded as one of the best courses Down Under, hosted the competition in 2018.
In 2013, Australia won the World Cup for the first time since 1989. It was a memorable tournament at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, with Jason Day and Adam Scott doing the business for their home fans. The Aussies have the second best World Cup record behind USA, winning five times and finishing runners-up on six occasions.
America’s Astonishing World Cup Record
United States of America are by far the most successful nation in World Cup history. No other country comes close to their tremendous record. The first two championships went to Argentina and Australia, but America’s dominance started in 1955, as they won eight of the opening 14 while it was the Canada Cup.
Team USA have won a total of 24 World Cups and finished runners-up 11 times. However, since 2000, America have finished on top of the pile on just one occasion. In 2011, Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland beat England and Germany to win their 24th crown.
USA’s World Cup Wins – 1955 to 2018
|1955||Washington DC, United States||Ed Furgol and Chick Harbert|
|1956||Surrey, England||Sam Snead and Ben Hogan|
|1960||Dublin, Ireland||Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer|
|1961||Dorado, Puerto Rico||Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret|
|1962||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer|
|1963||Paris, France||Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer|
|1964||Hawaii, United States||Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer|
|1966||Tokyo, Japan||Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer|
|1967||Mexico City, Mexico||Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer|
|1969||Singapore||Orville Moody and Lee Trevino|
|1971||Florida, United States||Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino|
|1973||Marbella, Spain||Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus|
|1975||Bangkok, Thailand||Lou Graham and Johnny Miller|
|1978||Hawaii, United States||John Mahaffey and Andy North|
|1979||Athens, Greece||Hale Irwin and John Mahaffey|
|1983||Jakarta, Indonesia||Rex Caldwell and John Cook|
|1988||Melbourne, Australia||Ben Crawshaw and Mark McCumber|
|1992||Madrid, Spain||Fred Couples and Davis Love III|
|1993||Florida, United States||Fred Couples and Davis Love III|
|1994||Dorado, Puerto Rico||Fred Couples and Davis Love III|
|1995||Shenzhen, China||Fred Couples and Davis Love III|
|1999||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods|
|2000||Buenos Aires, Argentina||David Duval and Tiger Woods|
|2011||Hainan Island, China||Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland|
Love III & Couples Win Four in a Row
The World Cup is very much a team game, and the team of Fred Couples and Davis Love III was incredibly successful in the 1990s. USA won four World Cups in a row from 1992 to 1995, with the team of Love III and Couples being unstoppable. The pair of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer also prevailed for America on four occasions, and that duo of golfing legends really did excite the crowds.