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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 221
THE home nation’s chances took a major hit when Jason Day pulled the pin on coming home for the summer, but Adam Scott and Marc Leishman are still favourites to make it back to back World Cup of Golf wins for Australia. Scott looked poised for a run at the Australian Open on Sunday but looked out of sorts in the final round, while Leishman has struck some early season form. The duo has a rich history as a pairing, with Leishman famously Scott’s playing partner on the final day of his US Masters victory. Hard to go past our boys. HONESTLY, they should be the favourites. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is not only the highest-ranked player in the field, he’s the most in-form, too, having won three of his last five events, including the WGC-HSBC Champions, which he managed by a lazy seven shots. He won again in Japan last week, and now joins forces with Rio Ishikawa, who’s returned in sparkling form from a long injury layoff, finishing in the top 10 at five of the eight events he’s contested and taking his world ranking back inside the top 100. Ishikawa also brings fond memories of the 2013 World Cup, where he finished tied for fifth in the individual competition and tied for third in the teams event. AUSTRALIA JAPAN PLAYERS: ADAM SCOTT & MARC LEISHMAN PLAYERS: HIDEKI MATSUYAMA & RYO ISHIKAWA YOU can almost guarantee the Spanish team of Cabrera-Bello and Rahm will be at the sharp end of the field. Cabrera-Bello remains one of the most consistent players in Europe, and is equally competitive whenever he shows his face on the PGA Tour. His partner, 22-year-old Rahm, turned pro this year and has played just 11 events for the season, but appears destined for greatness, having registered his first PGA Tour win at the RBC Canadian Open, and taken his world ranking from outside 500 to inside the top 130. SPAIN PLAYERS: RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO & JON RAHM UNSIGHTED since early November, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of form the American pairing of Fowler and Walker bring to Melbourne. They have an obvious affinity, having teamed up for two wins from two outings at last year’s Presidents Cup, including a 5&4 thumping of Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee. USA PLAYERS: RICKIE FOWLER & JIMMY WALKER
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