Shenzhen : Jeev Milkha Singh wants to cap a great season by making his World Cup debut this week memorable.
Jeev, now ranked 45th in the world, will be one of the major stars of this week’s Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.
Jeev, who has wrapped the Asian Tour Order of Merit with some more tournaments still left on the calendar, will be partnered by Jyoti Randhawa, as India make their strongest bid ever at the World Cup.
Another Order of Merit winne Robert Karlsson, the first Swede to win the Harry Vardon Trophy as Europe’s leading money winner, will also be hoping to making it a double winning a World Cup gold medal at the spectacular José Maria Olazábal designed course on the Mission Hills complex. Karlsson ranked No. 6 in the world will partner World number one Henrik Stenson.
India with Jeev and Jyoti Randhawa are expected to provide a strong Asian challenge. Jeev is fresh from his recent victory in the Barclays Singapore Open besides two other successes in Europe (Bank Austria Open) and Japan (Sega Sammy Cup) this year. He is back in World’s top-50, at 45th place.
“I always missed the World Cup because I was either defending a title or committed to some other event. This time I am in good form and playing well. Jyoti and I hope to do well and make a serious attempt at the title. That will be a nice bonus for the season,” said Jeev.
“Jyoti and I should pair well and we will be hoping to compliment each other’s strengths,” he added.
Jyoti said, “Jeev is in great form. I hope to raise my play with him. Last week in Hong Kong I found the rhythm towards the end and hope I will be able to stretch it into the tournament here.”
The 28 two-man teams will play two rounds of foursomes and two of fourball to determine the winner of famous World Cup trophy.
Scotland, represented by Colin Montgomerie and a new partner in Alastair Forsyth, will be defending their title in the company of the host nation China, which once again field Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei.
China feel confident they can improve on their 11th place of last year and build on the China’s success of the Olympic Games in Beijing to further help the growth of the game in their country.
Scotland, on the other hand, waited for 54 years to savour World Cup success when Montgomerie and Marc Warren edged out the United States in a dramatic play-off.
A total of 18 exempt nations and nine more countries, which emerged through qualifiers in Asia, Europe and Latin America, join the host nation in the World Cup.
Two of last week’s winners are also in action with Lin Wen-Tang, who claimed a spectacular victory in the 50th UBS Hong Kong Open and will represent Chinese Taipei alongside Lu Wen-teh. And Prayad Marksaeng, who won the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour, will be partnering Thongchai Jaidee for the Thailand team.
New Zealand and France will have the honour of getting the event underway as the first group out. Other groupings include that of Venezuela with 2006 champions Germany, Philippines and Ireland paired together and Mexico and England.
The World Cup was first played as the Canada Cup in 1953 and was renamed the World Cup in 1967. The event entered a new era last year following the agreement, which brought the watchmaker Omega together with Mission Hills. The event is set to continue in China till 2018.