x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

No luck needed at golf World Cup with such a strong Irish duo

Wishing absolutely no disrespect to Irish sport in any shape or form, it is not often that you can write that they are the favourites for a World Cup.

Wishing absolutely no disrespect to Irish sport in any shape or form, it is not often that you can write that they are the favourites for a World Cup.

But that is the scenario after the teams for the golf World Cup, which takes place in China in November, were announced this week.

The pair of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, the last two winners of the US Open, are one of the strongest pairings in the tournament.

They clearly get on well, with McDowell being one of the first people to congratulate McIlroy after his fellow Northern Irishman had replaced him as US Open champion in June at the Congressional Country Club.

The duo were runners-up in the 2009 World Cup, but with both since having become major winners, they will be confident of going one better this time and adding the title to their respective trophy cabinets.

Their main threats to success are likely to be Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, the Italian brothers, who won the 2009 event, and the South African pairing of Charl Schwartzel, this year's US Masters winner, and Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion.

But the team of McIlroy and McDowell have the most potential to shine in China, it will be a surprise if the Irish do not have something to celebrate on November 27 when the World Cup is presented to the winning country at the Mission Hills Haikou course in Hainan.