One week after the 2011 Presidents Cup, some of the world's best golfers will head to another team competition. The OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup, like the Presidents Cup, is biennial, but that wrinkle is only beginning this year, and its set-up is a bit different from the United States vs. International format of the Presidents Cup. At golf's World Cup, 28 teams of two players from the same nation pair up to take on the world in a 72-hole that begins with two rounds of best ball stroke play and finishes with two rounds of alternate shot stroke play.
Italy is the defending champion nation, after Edoardo Molinari and Francesco Molinari teamed to win in 2009, but the team of brothers will have some work to do to beat a deep World Cup field this year. Ireland's Rory McIlory and Graeme McDowell should be the favorites, and the major champions will be looking to win their country's first World Cup since 1997. South Africa's strong twosome pairs Charl Schwartzel with Louis Oosthuizen for another duo with majors under their belts. England's pairing of Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher is strong, too, but not as good as the potential Luke Donald-Lee Westwood one would have been: the latter two golfers are both part of the Official World Golf Ranking's top three.
The 2011 OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup begins on Thursday in Shenzen, China, but live coverage begins at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Wednesday on the Golf Channel.