By Duncan Mackay

Royal Melbourne ClubMay 12 - Melbourne is to host the 2013 World Cup of Golf for the first time in quarter-of-a-century, it was announced today. 

The International Federation of PGA Tours, the umbrella organisation of the top professional golf tours which sanctions the tournament, made the announcement that the event will be held at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club on November 21 until 24.

It will be the first time that the competition has been held outside of China since 2006.

It was last staged in 2011 at Haikou on Hainan Island, where the winners were the United States, who were represented by Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.

US win World Cup of Golf 2011American pair Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland celebrate their victory in the 2011 World Cup 

"We're thrilled that the World Cup will return to Australia, bringing this historic event to a venue, city and country that have hosted the biggest and best international sporting events for many years," said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours.

It means that Royal Melbourne Golf Club will host back-to-back world-class events in November as the World Cup will be preceded by the Australian Masters.

IMG, which is staging the Australian Masters in the week preceding at Royal Melbourne, will also manage the delivery of the World Cup.

The World Cup has been played three previous times in Australia, each at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

The event was last played in Australia in 1988 as part of the nation's bicentennial celebrations when the US team of Ben Crenshaw and Mark McCumber defeated the Japanese team of Masashi Ozaki and Tateo Ozaki to win the tournament.

"It is an honour to host the World Cup and welcome another international golf event to Melbourne, home of great sporting events," said Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.

"Melbourne is the pride of Australia when it comes to major events, and we would argue rivals any city in the world in that regard.

"Today's announcement is another exciting chapter for Melbourne, and we eagerly anticipate the World Cup in November, when we can once again showcase all that Victoria has to offer to the event's players and fans."

Royal Melbourne Club 2The Royal Melbourne Club was founded in 1891 and is Australia's oldest golf club

As part of the move, the event boasts an $8 million (£5 million/€6 million) total purse and returns to an individual, stroke-play competition for $7 million (£4.5 million/€5.5 million), with a team component, adding the total scores of two-man teams, for $1 million (£650,000/€770,000).

The qualification system for the event is similar to that which will be used at Rio 2016, when golf returns to the Olympic programme after a 112-year absence.

The field will include 60 players with no cut, with eligibility taken from the Official World Golf Ranking.

Up to four players can qualify, per country, if they are in the top 15 of the official rankings.

Beyond number 15, up to a maximum of two players per country can qualify.

If two or more players from a country qualify, then the country is eligible for team competition, with the top-two players comprising the qualified team.

The major difference between the World Cup qualification model and that of the Olympic golf competition is that England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland will each be considered as separate countries.

Rory McIlroy World Cup 2011Rory McIlroy played for Ireland in 2011 World Cup but has already announced he will not take part in this year's event due to issues over which country he represents at Rio 2016

Rory McIlroy, the world's second-ranked golfer, has already publicly announced that he will not be taking part in the event because he does not want to prejudice who he can represent at Rio 2016 as he is qualified to play for both Britain and Ireland in the Olympics. 

The Olympic Games golf competition will also not feature a team component.

The tournament was founded by the International Golf Association in association with California industrialist John Jay Hopkins for the purpose of promoting international goodwill through golf.

It began in 1953 as the Canada Cup and was renamed the World Cup in 1967.

The event was staged as part of the World Golf Championships series from 2000 to 2006.

In 2010, it was announced that the event would change from annual to biennial, held in odd-numbered years, to accommodate the 2016 inclusion of golf in the Olympics Games.

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