'With the World Cup now a recognized World Golf Championship event, it is important that South Africa is represented by its leading world ranked players,' said Louis Martin, chief executive of the Southern Africa Tour. 'To this end we changed the criteria for team selection to reflect this. We are therefore very pleased to announce that our two highest ranked members, on the World Golf Rankings, have agreed to play,' concluded Martin.
'I am really looking forward to representing South Africa, and believe that we will be a formidable team, especially after Retief's fantastic victory in the U.S. Open last week. If we can rekindle some of the form that helped us win the 1996 World Cup in South Africa, I am sure we will give the front runners a good go for their money,' enthused Els, currently ranked third on the latest World Golf Rankings.
Ernie Els teamed up with Wayne Westner to dominate the 1996 competition from start to finish. Not only did the South African pairing win the team event but they also finished first and second respectively in the individual competition. This was not the first time a South African team won the event. In 1965 Gary Player and Harold Henning were victorious, so were Dale Hayes and Bobby Cole in 1974.
'Ernie and I have played together in team competitions, both as amateurs and professionals. We have teamed up well in the past and look forward to doing so again in November. It is an honor for me to partner Ernie - I look forward to playing alongside him on the Taiheiyo layout - one of my favorite courses,' commented Goosen.
This is not the first time that Els and Goosen have played together in a World Cup event. They did so in 1993, finishing sixth in the team competition.
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