Major chance for SA to lift World Cup

Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen will represent the country in the 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup and give South Africa the chance to win the title for the sixth time.

The pair of major winners – only Northern Ireland can match that feat with Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell as their representatives – will attempt to lift the trophy for the sixth time for South Africa since Harold Henning and Gary Player first won it in 1965 when it was still called the Canada Cup.

The event takes place at Mission Hills Resort, Hainan Island, China, from November 24-27 with Edoardo and Francesco Molinari of Italy defending their title.

The pairing of Masters champion Schwartzel and 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen means that South Africa will have a pair of major champions in the field for the second time since Ernie Els and Retief Goosen won the title in 2001in Gotemba, Japan.

Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini won it two years later at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, defeating Paul Casey and Justin Rose.

US Open champion McIlroy and 2010 US Open champion McDowell were joint runners-up last year with Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson of Sweden.

The only other major champion in the field is 2010 PGA champion Martin Kaymer of Germany, who is teamed up with Alex Cejka for the fourth successive time, the combination having finished sixth in 2007, fifth in 2008 and sixth in 2009.

The United States will be represented by Matt Kuchar and his partner Gary Woodland.

Rose is in the England team again, together with Ian Poulter, four years after they finished fourth in their only appearance together.

Karlsson, a player with a powerful World Cup pedigree, returns to China with a new partner in Alex Noren, the recent winner of the Nordea Masters in his native Sweden. Karlsson, the former European Number One, captured the title with Stenson in 2008.

Spain’s Alvaro Quiros has nominated the veteran Miguel Angel Jiménez as his ally with Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher representing 2007 champions Scotland, and Jamie Donaldson and Rhys Davies linking up under the banner of Wales.

The Molinari siblings are joined in the field by another set of brothers, Camilo and Manuel Villegas from Colombia, while Denmark’s Anders Hansen, third in the recent PGA Championship, has elected to play with Thomas Björn for Denmark.

In Asia, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda joins forces with Tetsuji Hiratsuka while Thongchai Jaidee competes for Thailand alongside Kiradech Aphibarnrat and China, as the host nation, also qualify automatically and will be represented on Hainan Island by Lian Wen-chong and Zhang Xin-jun.

Confirmed exempt nations:
Germany – Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka
Ireland – Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
United States – Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland
South Africa – Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen
England – Ian Poulter and Justin Rose
Sweden – Robert Karlsson and Alex Noren
Italy – Francesco Molinari and Edoardo Molinari
Spain – Alvaro Quiros and Miguel Angel Jiménez
Scotland – Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher
Denmark – Anders Hansen and Thomas Björn
France – Raphaël Jacquelin and Gregory Bourdy
Japan – Yuta Ikeda and Tetsuji Hiratsuka
Australia – Brendan Jones and Richard Green
Belgium – Nicolas Colsaerts and Jérôme Theunis
Colombia – Camilo Villegas and Manuel Villegas
Wales – Jamie Donaldson and Rhys Davies
Thailand – Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Zimbabwe – Brendon de Jonge and Bruce McDonald
China (Host Nation) – Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Xin-jun

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