Omega World Cup History and Past Winners

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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:

Year Country Team Location
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
Year Country Team Location
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
Year Country Team Individual Location
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
Year Country Team Individual Location
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
1986 No tournament
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
1981 No tournament
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
Year Country Team Individual Location
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
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