International Team to Challenge Ryder Cup Countries at Inaugural Goodwill Trophy
The first ever Goodwill Trophy takes place at Mission Hills Golf Club, China, on Monday and Tuesday 13th and 14th November. Retief Goosen leads an International Team against a side representing the Ryder Cup Countries of Europe and America captained by Colin Montgomerie. Monday will see the sides contest foursomes with singles matches to follow on Tuesday.
The squads for The Goodwill Trophy are as follows:
INTERNATIONAL TEAM RYDER CUP COUNTRIES
Retief Goosen, South Africa (captain) Colin Montgomerie, Scotland (captain)
Michael Campbell, New Zealand Luke Donald, England
Lian Wei Zhang, China Chris DiMarco, United States
KJ Choi, Korea Henrik Stenson, Sweden
Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand Paul Casey, England
Peter Senior, Australia Alejandro Canizares, Spain
Paul Sheehan, Australia Nick Dougherty, England
Jeev Milkha Singh, India Bradley Dredge, Wales
Colin Montgomerie, Captain, Ryder Cup Countries (Europe and the United States)
One of Europe’s most successful golfers of all time, Colin Montgomerie will captain the Europe and United States team at the inaugural Goodwill Trophy. Having only turned professional in 1988, Montgomerie made his Ryder Cup debut in 1991 at Kiawah Island, the first of seven consecutive appearances in the famous matches. His Ryder Cup record is extremely impressive. In his seven appearances, he has a remarkable record of never having been beaten in the final day singles. At Oakland Hills in 2004 he famously holed the putt that gave Europe outright victory in the 35th Ryder Cup matches. At the Goodwill Trophy in 2006, he will become the first ever European to captain a side containing players from the United States.
Retief Goosen, Captain, The International Team
Along with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and fellow South African Ernie Els, Retief Goosen is considered one of the ‘Big Five’ of the modern game. Two US Open victories 2001 and 2004 helped propel Goosen to a position alongside these illustrious players in the top five of the Official World Golf Rankings. In July 2006 he was ranked 5th in the world. Goosen has also won the European Tour Order of Merit twice in successive years, picking up the Harry Vardon Trophy in 2001 and 2002. No stranger to team golf, Goosen has also appeared in three President’s Cup events. The Goodwill Cup, however, will see him take on the responsibilities of captaincy for the first time.
THE INTERNATIONAL TEAM
Lian-Wei Zhang, China
Lian-Wei Zhang was the first Chinese golfer to break into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings and has been a pivotal figure in the rapid development of golf in the country. Born in 1965 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, Zhang made history when he received an invite to become the first Chinese golfer to participate in the Masters Tournament at Augusta. In 2003 he became the first Chinese golfer to win on the PGA European Tour when he birdied the final hole to win the Singapore Masters by one stroke from Ernie Els, who was, at that point, number two in the world.
Michael Campbell, New Zealand
Born in 1969, Michael Campbell is New Zealand’s leading golfer and one of the most talented players in the world. He shook off a poor start to 2005 and, by the time the US Open teed off at Pinehurst in June, he was right back in form. Starting his final round some four strokes behind defending champion Retief Goosen, Campbell shot a 1 under par 69 to win by two strokes from Tiger Woods and became the first New Zealander to secure a Major Championship since Bob Charles won the Open Championship at Royal Lytham in 1963. the following September, he won the HSBC World Matchplay at Wentworth, beating his captain at the Goodwill Trophy, Retief Goosen 7&6 in the semi-finals on the way to golf’s richest first prize of £1million.
K. J. Choi, Korea
In 2000, KJ Choi became the first Korean to earn a PGA Tour card and he has been a consistent performer ever since. In 2002 he became the first Korean to win on the PGA Tour with victory at the Compaq Classic of New Orleans. He followed this success at the Tampa Bay Classic the very same year and in 2003 he won the Linde German Masters on the European Tour. He earned his third victory on the PGA Tour when he won the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro in October 2005. His six under par final round of 66 left him two strokes clear of Shigeki Maruyama of Japan. He has represented South Korea in the WGC-World Cup in 2002, 2003 and 2005. In 2003, he was one of Gary Player’s captain’s picks for the International Team at the Presidents Cup at Fancourt, South Africa. Choi partnered Goodwill Trophy captain Retief Goosen in foursomes as well as defeating Justin Leonard 4&2 in the final day singles.
Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand
Thongchai Jaidee is Thailand’s leading golfer and is currently ranked 5th on the Asian Official World Golf Rankings. He is a two time winner on the European Tour having earned back-to-back victories at the Carlsberg Malaysian Masters in 2004 and 2005, the first victories on the Tour by a Thai golfer. Jaidee has also won five further tournaments on the Asian Tour, including the 2004 Myanmar Open and the 2003 Volvo Masters of Asia and has twice topped that Tour’s Order of Merit in 2001 and 2004. He also has plenty of experience of team matchplay golf, having represented Asia against Europe at the first Royal Trophy at the Amata Spring Country Club, Bangkok in January as well as participating in both of Asia’s Dynasty Cup victories over Japan which were hosted at Mission Hills Golf Club in 2003 and 2005.
Peter Senior, Australia
Peter Senior has won more than twenty tournaments around the world after turning professional in 1978. A truly international player, he has spent his career playing on the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour while occasionally competing on the Japan Golf Tour and the PGA Tour in the United States. He has experience of team matchplay golf, having been a member of the International Team at the first two Presidents Cup events which were held in 1994 and 1996.
Paul Sheehan, Australia
Paul Sheehan, who currently features in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings, is in 3rd place on the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit and is the reigning Japan Open champion.
The 29 year-old Australian, who won this year’s Japan Open at Kasumigaseki Country Club by three strokes, plays on both the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Japan Golf Tour. Other tournament wins that he has secured in his career have included the Fukisankei Classic and Golf Nippon Series JT Cup on the Japan Golf Tour in 2004 and the 2006 Jacob's Creek Open which is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Nationwide Tour.
Jeev Milkha Singh, India
Jeev Milkha Singh, who secured his second European Tour victory of 2006 by winning the Volvo Masters at Valderrama recently, is the third highest placed Asian on the Official World Golf rankings and is currently ranked 77th overall, having just become the first Indian to break into the top 100. 34 year-old Singh was also the first Indian golfer to become a member of the European Tour when he earned his card in 1997. His victory at this year’s Volvo Masters was his second career victory on Tour and his second of 2006 after he won the Volvo China Open. He also has strong experience of team matchplay golf earned at the 2003 Phoenix Dynasty Cup, also held at Mission Hills Golf Club.
RYDER CUP COUNTRIES
Luke Donald, England
Luke Donald is one of the leading golfers of his generation and has consistently been ranked in or just outside the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings for the past two years. 2006 has been a very successful year for the 28 year-old Englishman who started it strongly and, by March, had collected his fourth tournament win as a professional with victory at the Honda Classic in Florida. Luke played in his second Ryder Cup at the K Club in September, helping Europe to a second successive 18½ point to 9½ point victory. Luke has enjoyed further success in international team golf, at the expense of Ryder Cup allies Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez, when he and Paul Casey beat the Spanish pair by a stroke to win the WGC-World Cup in Barbados in November 2004.
Chris DiMarco, United States
Chris DiMarco is consistently among the top performers on the US PGA Tour who has recently qualified for the United States Ryder Cup team to face Europe at the K Club in September. In 2005, Chris lost a sudden-death playoff with Tiger Woods to finish second in The Masters at Augusta but the performance was good enough to propel him into the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings. He secured his third runner-up finish in a Major Championship at Hoylake in July 2006 as Tiger Woods won his third Open Championship by two strokes. Chris was a member of the U.S. Presidents Cup teams in 2003 and 2005 and made his Ryder Cup debut in 2004.
Henrik Stenson, Sweden
30 year old Henrik Stenson is enjoying his most successful season to date. Two victories on the European Tour have enabled him to top The Ryder Cup World Points List, earning him his debut for the European team to face the United States at the K Club. He tasted victory early on in the year with a 3 shot win at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters at the end of January having finished just one stroke behind Goodwill Trophy team mate Chris DiMarco at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship the previous week. Victory at the BMW International Open in Munich in September, secured by a play-off win against Goodwill Trophy International team captain Retief Goosen and Irish Ryder Cup colleague Padraig Harrington was his fourth win on the European Tour and propelled him to number 11 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Paul Casey, England
Paul Casey has enjoyed a tremendous year on the European Tour International Schedule, winning on three occasions. In addition to his recent HSBC World Matchplay success at Wentworth, he also won the Volvo China Open at Shenzhen Golf Club in November 2005 and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in June of this year. Casey remained unbeaten during Europe’s successful defence of the Ryder Cup at the K Club in September and defeated world number 2 Jim Furyk 2&1 in singles to spur Europe to victory on the last day. His hole-in-one at the 14th, whilst playing with David Howell in the foursomes, secured a 5&4 win over Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson and was the first at the Ryder Cup since 1995. Casey also partnered Goodwill Trophy and Ryder Cup team mate Luke Donald to victory at the WGC-World Cup in Seville in late 2004.
Alejandro Canizares, Spain
23 year-old Spaniard Alejandro Canizares was selected by Colin Montgomerie after claiming the prestigious European Tour Golfer of the Month title for August. This followed victory at the Imperial Collection Russian Open which was only Canizares’ third event as an Affiliate Member of The European Tour. His victory at in Moscow set a new record as the fastest ever victory on The European Tour in terms of tournaments played. He beat the previous record of four tournaments jointly held by Spain's Sergio Garcia who recorded his first victory in 1999 and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell who registered his maiden success in 2002.
Nick Dougherty, England
24 year-old Nick Dougherty is one of English golf’s brightest prospects. He has enjoyed five top ten finishes on The European this year, having secured his debut professional win in January 2005 at the Caltex Masters in Singapore. Dougherty has substantial experience when it comes to team matchplay golf. His excellent form in 2005 saw him qualify for the Great Britain and Ireland team for the Seve Trophy that which was held at the Wynyard Club in England that September. He won three points out of five on his debut in the event, including earning a half against Goodwill Trophy team mate Henrik Stenson in the singles.
Bradley Dredge, Wales
33 year old Bradley Dredge is enjoying one of his most successful years as a professional. He is the reigning Omega European Masters champion and also holds the WGC-World Cup with his countryman Stephen Dodd after they secured victory in Portugal last year. These successes have propelled him to number 51 on the Official World Golf Rankings. His partnership with Dodd at the WGC-World Cup hosted on the Algarve in November 2005 saw them share the $1.4 million first prize after rain and high winds caused the cancellation of the final day’s play.