There’s more match play this week as the Omega World Cup gets underway.
The World Cup of Golf began as the Canada Cup, a tournament founded by John Jay Hopkins, a wealthy industrialist. Hopkins was president of Electric Boat in 1948 when that firm purchased Canadiar, a Canadian aircraft manufacturer (thus the origin of the Canada Cup). He later went on to found and run General Dynamics.
The first Canada Cup was held in Montreal, where it was known as the Canada Cup and International Golf Championship. Roberto de Vicenzo and Antonio Cerda won the inaugural event. It was played one more year in Canada, and then began globetrotting: Wentworth, Tokyo, Mexico City, Melbourne, Dublin, Puerto Rico, Buenos Aires, Paris, Maui and Madrid.
The list of winners over the years is a who’s who of golf: Roberto de Vicenzo, Sam Snead, Kel Nagle, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Seve Ballesteros, Hale Irwin, Johnny Miller, Fred Couples, Davis Love, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.
Even more intriguing have been some of the winning pairings: Palmer and Nicklaus, Woods and O”Meara, Miller and Nicklaus, Demaret and Snead.
Hopkins saw the tournament—and golf in general—as a means of spreading international good will. In fact, that was the slogan of his 1952 creation, the International Golf Association: “International Good Will Through Golf.”
Hopkins said: “Golf is a civilized and a civilizing game. It’s a game for good neighbors. It has the spice of good competition, while imposing the highest moral restraints.”
“It is my hope that the International Tournament will serve through the spirit of the game to bind people together. The thousands, and hopefully, ultimately millions who watch these sportsmen must inevitably recognize the common bond that links all nations.”
Starting in 1967, the Canada cup became known as the World Cup of Golf in 1967. In 2000, it became one of the World Golf Championships events. It lost its WGC status in 2007.
The Canada Cup began as a 36 hole stroke play event, counting the combined scores of the two man team. It was a 72 hole stroke play event from 1954 to 1999. Beginning in 2000, the format is alternating stroke play rounds of bestball (fourball) and alternate shot (foursomes). From 1955 to 1999, there was also a separate award, the International Trophy, for the individual with the best 72 hole score.
Qualifiers for the tournament begin with the top eighteen available in the World Golf Rankings, each from a different country. Each of these then picks a player from their country (who must be in the top 100) to be the other member of their team. If no player from their country is ranked, the next highest is chosen. Nine other countries qualify via three qualifying stages. China, as host nation, gets the final team.
The event is a 72-hole stroke play team event with each team consisting of two players. The first and third days are fourball play and the second and final days are foursomes play.
Sadly, since 2007, the tournament has sold out to Chinese corporate interests and rather than traveling the world has settled in at the Chinese golf megaplex at Mission Hills. It’s a nice site, but a long way from the traveling golf roadshow for international cooperation envisioned by Hopkins.
A complete list of past winners follows:
|2011||November 24-27||Shenzhen China|
|2009||Italy||Edoardo Molinari & Francesco Molinari||Shenzhen China|
|2008||Sweden||Robert Karlsson & Henrik Stenson||Shenzhen China|
|2007||Scotland||Colin Montgomerie & Marc Warren||Shenzhen China|
|2006||Germany||Bernhard Langer & Marcel Siem||Sandy Lane Resort Barbados|
|2005||Wales||Stephen Dodd & Bradley Dredge||Algarve Portugal|
|2004||England||Paul Casey & Luke Donald||Seville|
|2003||South Africa||Trevor Immelman & Rory Sabbatini||Kiawah Island|
|2002||Japan||Toshimitsu Izawa & Shigeki Maruyama||Puerto Vallarta Mexico|
|2001||South Africa||Ernie Els & Retief Goosen||Gotemba Japan|
|2000||United States||David Duval & Tiger Woods||Buenos Aires Argentina|
|1999||United States||Mark O’Meara & Tiger Woods||United States Tiger Woods||Kuala Lumpur|
|1998||England||David Carter & Nick Faldo||United States Scott Verplank||Auckland|
|1997||Ireland||Pádraig Harrington & Paul McGinley||Scotland Colin Montgomerie||Kiawah Island|
|1996||South Africa||Ernie Els & Wayne Westner||South Africa Ernie Els||Cape Town|
|1995||United States||Fred Couples & Davis Love III||United States Davis Love III||Shenzhen China|
|1994||United States||Fred Couples & Davis Love III||United States Fred Couples||Dorado Puerto Rico|
|1993||United States||Fred Couples & Davis Love III||Germany Bernhard Langer||Orlando|
|1992||United States||Fred Couples & Davis Love III||Australia Brett Ogle||Madrid|
|1991||Sweden||Anders Forsbrand & Per-Ulrik Johansson||Wales Ian Woosnam||Rome|
|1990||Germany||Torsten Giedeon & Bernhard Langer||United States Payne Stewart||Orlando|
|1989||Australia||Peter Fowler & Wayne Grady||Australia Peter Fowler||Marbella Spain|
|1988||United States||Ben Crenshaw & Mark McCumber||United States Ben Crenshaw||Melbourne|
|1987||Wales||David Llewellyn & Ian Woosnam||Wales Ian Woosnam||Maui|
|1985||Canada||Dave Barr & Dan Halldorson||England Howard Clark||La Quinta California|
|1984||Spain||José Maria Cañizares & José Rivero||Spain José Maria Cañizares||Rome|
|1983||United States||Rex Caldwell & John Cook||Canada Dave Barr||Jakarta Indonesia|
|1982||Spain||José Maria Cañizares & Manuel Piñero||Spain Manuel Piñero||Acapulco|
|1980||Canada||Dan Halldorson & Jim Nelford||Scotland Sandy Lyle||Bogotá|
|1979||United States||Hale Irwin & John Mahaffey||United States Hale Irwin||Athens|
|1978||United States||John Mahaffey & Andy North||United States John Mahaffey||Hanalei Hawaii|
|1977||Spain||Seve Ballesteros & Antonio Garrido||South Africa Gary Player||Manila|
|1976||Spain||Seve Ballesteros & Manuel Piñero||Mexico Ernesto Perez Acosta||Palm Springs|
|1975||United States||Lou Graham & Johnny Miller||United States Johnny Miller||Bangkok|
|1974||South Africa||Bobby Cole & Dale Hayes||South Africa Bobby Cole||Caracas|
|1973||United States||Johnny Miller & Jack Nicklaus||United States Johnny Miller||Marbella|
|1972||Taiwan||Hsieh Min-Nan & Lu Liang-Huan||Republic of China Hsieh Min-Nan||Melbourne|
|1971||United States||Jack Nicklaus & Lee Trevino||United States Jack Nicklaus||Palm Beach|
|1970||Australia||Bruce Devlin & David Graham||Argentina Roberto De Vicenzo||Buenos Aires|
|1969||United States||Orville Moody & Lee Trevino||United States Lee Trevino||Singapore|
|1968||Canada||Al Balding & George Knudson||Canada Al Balding||Rome|
|1967||United States||Jack Nicklaus & Arnold Palmer||United States Arnold Palmer||Mexico City|
|1966||United States||Jack Nicklaus & Arnold Palmer||Canada George Knudson||Tokyo|
|1965||South Africa||Harold Henning & Gary Player||South Africa Gary Player||Madrid|
|1964||United States||Jack Nicklaus & Arnold Palmer||United States Jack Nicklaus||Maui Hawaii USA|
|1963||United States||Jack Nicklaus & Arnold Palmer||United States Jack Nicklaus||Paris|
|1962||United States||Arnold Palmer & Sam Snead||Argentina Roberto De Vicenzo||Buenos Aires|
|1961||United States||Jimmy Demaret & Sam Snead||United States Sam Snead||Dorado Puerto Rico|
|1960||United States||Arnold Palmer & Sam Snead||Belgium Flory Van Donck||Portmarnock Dublin|
|1959||Australia||Kel Nagle & Peter Thomson||Canada Stan Leonard||Melbourne|
|1958||Ireland||Harry Bradshaw & Christy O’Connor||Spain Ángel Miguel||Mexico City|
|1957||Japan||Torakichi Nakamura & Koichi Ono||Japan Torakichi Nakamura||Tokyo Japan|
|1956||United States||Ben Hogan & Sam Snead||United States Ben Hogan||Wentworth Surrey England|
|1955||United States||Ed Furgol & Chick Harbert||United States Ed Furgol||Washington DC|
|1954||Australia||Kel Nagle & Peter Thomson||no award||Montreal|
|1953||Argentina||Antonio Cerdá & Roberto De Vicenzo||no award||Montreal|