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One for the Ages

While the top players in the world will be half-way around the world competing in the Presidents Cup, many veteran stalwarts will be competing in another team competition ' the UBS Cup (Friday, 8:00 PM ET on TGC).
Two 12-man teams, representing the United States and the Rest of the World, will play a Ryder Cup-style format over three days in Sea Island, Ga. Each team will consist of six players 40-49 and six players 50 and older.
Arnold Palmer will head the American roster, which consists of 40-49-year-olds Brad Faxon, Scott Hoch, Rocco Mediate, Mark OMeara, Curtis Strange and Hal Sutton, and Champions Tour regulars Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Bruce Lietzke, Craig Stadler and Tom Watson. Palmer is also a playing member.
This is Palmers third stint as UBS captain. He led the U.S. to wins in 2001 (12 - 11 ) and 2002 (14 - 9 ). He also captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team to wins in 1963 and 1975, as well as the U.S. Presidents Cup team to victory in 1996.
My players have always been quite good, Palmer said. I tried to juggle them into the right positions and get their interest and focus on what they were doing.
Tony Jacklin is making his debut as the Rest of the World captain. Englishmen Nick Faldo and Barry Lane, Germanys Bernhard Langer, Scotlands Colin Montgomerie, Eduardo Romero of Argentina and Welshman Ian Woosnam are the 40-49-year-olds on the ROW team. Australian Rodger Davis, Argentine Vicente Fernandez, Bill Longmuir of Scotland, Englands Carl Mason and Irishman Des Smyth join Jacklin as the 50-and-older players.
Though never a UBS captain, the Englishman is 2-1-1 as a Ryder Cup leader. He directed the Europeans to their first win in 28 years, in 1985. Two years later, he helped Europe win for the first time ever on American soil.
Jacklin takes over from Gary Player, who was the Rest of the World captain for the first two UBS Cups. The UBS Cup is sanctioned by the European Seniors Tour and the PGA Tour.
The Americans would seem, on paper at least, to be the favorites.
A member of both previous UBS Cup teams, Hoch captured this years Ford Championship.
He was joined in the 2003 PGA Tour winners circle by 50-year-old Craig Stadler. Stadler became the first Champions Tour member to win on the primary circuit. He also won three times on his regular tour, including the Ford Senior Players Championship.
Lietzke, Watson and Irwin were all multiple winners on the 50-and-over circuit.
Lietzke won twice, including the U.S. Senior Open; Watson won the Senior British Open and Jeld-Wen Tradition; Irwin claimed two titles, giving him a record 38 for his Champions Tour career.
On the ROW side, Davis won the Toshiba Senior Classic on the Champions Tour, while Carl Mason and Bill Longmuir finished 1-2, respectively, on the European Seniors Tours Order of Merit.
Both teams have a mixture of veteran UBS competitors and rookies. They each have seven players with experience and five first-timers.
Raymond Floyd has the best record on the American side with a 4-0-2 mark in two prior Cups. Smyth is the only undefeated player on the ROW side. He went 3-0-0 in his lone appearance in 2001.

The third annual UBS Cup will be played at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.
Six foursome matches will be played on Friday, six four-ball matches on Saturday, and 12 singles matches will conclude play on Sunday.
The Golf Channel will devote 45 hours of worldwide coverage to the UBS Cup, with much of that in prime time. Replays of the action, which include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, will begin Saturday, Nov. 22 and run through the week following the event.
Related Links:
  • Meet the Teams
  • TGC Airtimes - UBS Cup
  • Full Coverage - UBS Cup