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Matt Kuchar’s eager to fly the flag again at World Cup of Golf

(Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Matt Kuchar, who returned to winning form at the age of 40 last weekend, will be on another mission this week to put pride back into his nation’s golf.

The Americans are still smarting after being pummelled in Paris by Europe’s  Ryder Cup team although Kuchar could do nothing to avert that 17½-10½ thrashing because he was not in Jim Furyk’s line-up.

Kuchar has a history of raising his game when representing the stars and stripes and he is doing so again in partnership with Kyle Stanley in the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf. You can raise your betting game on the European Tour and PGA Tour tour competitions with these betting signup offers.

What is more Kuchar is  buzzing after capturing his first PGA Tour title since 2014 with a stunning victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.

“My 2018 wasn’t what I wanted but Mexico certainly hit a high spot,” declared Kuchar. “There have been plenty of times when I’ve thought about the fact the kids on tour are getting younger and stronger and whether there’s still a place for my style of golf. I answered my own question!”

In fact seven years ago at Mission Hills in China, Kuchar paired with powerhouse Gary Woodland to win the World Cup of Golf and in 2016 he fired a blistering last round 63 to nail the bronze medal in the Olympics.

Kuchar, who has won the Presidents Cup for the United States each of the four times he has played, is bidding to extend a proud record in Australia’s sandbelt region.

His first Presidents Cup success came in 2011 at Royal Melbourne and two years later he was within a whisker of defending the World Cup at that same venue with Kevin Streelman when they finished runners-up to home team Jason Day and Adam Scott.

“The World Cup trophy I won in 2011 is in a prominent place in my house,” says Kuchar. “I’m excited about playing in the World Cup again and I’m a huge fan of sandbelt golf.

“Every time I get the chance to play for the USA, I’m on board!  You want to perform to your best and make your country proud.”

This is the 59th World Cup of Golf and the sixth time Australia have played host although the first time it has been played at The Metropolitan where the couch grass fairways were described by two-time Open Champion Greg Norman as the best he had played anywhere in the world. Kuchar and Stanley, who has course form having played in the 2014 Australian Masters at The Metropolitan, will also need to contend with the large, firm and fast bentgrass greens and stay away from the 103 bunkers.

Ian Poulter is another who adores representing his country and 20 years on from Nick Faldo and David Carter earning England their first win in the competition he has high hopes of glory alongside three-time European Tour winner Tyrrell Hatton.

Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen are defending the title they won at Kingston Heath in 2016 when Chinese combo Haotong Li and Ashun Wu, both winners on the 2018 European Tour, finished runners-up. Li and Wu could be dangerous at The Metropolitan.

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith will have high hopes of giving hosts Australia a sixth World Cup win in this 72-hole event – the first and third rounds are fourball and the second and fourth foursomes – and Scotland’s Russell Knox and Martin Laird could surprise.

But Sweden earn a place in the staking plan with Alexander Bjork and Joakim Lagergren, both successful in 2018, bidding to give their country a third triumph in the event.

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