Australian duo Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith will face a field that includes the defending champions, Major championship winners and leading players from previous Presidents and Ryder Cups at the 2018 ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf, with each country’s leading player having selected his partner for the unique team format.

England’s Ian Poulter was among the notables picked and will make his sixth appearance in the World Cup competition after being tabbed by fellow countryman Tyrrell Hatton.

The English pairing will start as one of the favourites, along with the previously confirmed Australian duo of Marc Leishman and World Cup debutant Cameron Smith when Australia takes on the world in Melbourne.

South Africa’s Branden Grace selected fellow Presidents Cup veteran and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. Grace and Schwartzel, who are both making their second starts in the World Cup of Golf, have combined for seven Presidents Cup appearances.

Two-time PGA Tour winner Kyle Stanley and seven-time PGA Tour champion and member of the victorious 2011 World Cup of Golf team, Matt Kuchar will provide strong competition for one of golf’s oldest team trophies. Kuchar will add a plethora of team experience to the field in Melbourne, having represented the United States in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup four times apiece, as well as two World Cup of Golf appearances. At the 2018 Ryder Cup, Kuchar will look to aid in his team’s success as a vice captain to Jim Furyk.

Following a four-stroke triumph at Kingston Heath in the 2016 ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, the winning duo from Denmark will return to Melbourne to defend their title, with Thorbjørn Olesen selecting 2016 partner Soren Kjeldsen. The victory was Denmark’s first win in the World Cup of Golf, topping their previous best finish – a runner-up in 2001 by Thomas Bjørn and Soren Hansen. With the win, a European country collected its seventh victory in the last nine editions of the World Cup of Golf.

Due to a late withdrawal by Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, a replacement country and players will be announced in the coming days.

Among the others set to compete at The Metropolitan Golf Club include 2017 PLAYERS Champion Si Woo Kim, who was selected by Byeong Hun An to round out Team Korea. The 23-year-old is making his World Cup of Golf debut after first representing Korea in the 2017 Presidents Cup. Between the duo, they have won the flagship event on the PGA Tour and European Tour, with An capturing the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth followed up by Kim’s Players victory two years later.

Leishman and Grace are among eight players who have played on past International Teams at the Presidents Cup. Kim, Schwartzel, India’s Anirban Lahiri, New Zealand’s Danny Lee, Canada’sAdam Hadwin and Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas round out that list.

Having finished T2 in the 2016 ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, the team of Haotong Li and Ashun Wu are set to return to Melbourne with their sights set on capturing China’s first-ever World Cup of Golf title. Wu is coming off his third career European Tour victory at last week’s KLM Open. Wu and Li also represented China in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Other notables in the field include two-time major champion and former world No.1 Martin Kaymer as well as World Golf Championships winner Shane Lowry who will be joined by Maximilian Kieffer and Paul Dunne as their respective partners.

Known for his clutch play and fiery personality in the Ryder Cup, Poulter will make his sixth appearance on the European team next week in advance of the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf. On the PGA Tour, the 42-year-old has had one of his best seasons to date, winning his first stroke-play Tour event at the Houston Open and adding three other top-10 results, including a T5 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and a T10 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

“I’m obviously delighted to accept Tyrrell’s invitation to partner him at the World Cup and to represent England,” Poulter said. “Anyone who knows me is well aware of how much I love team competition and representing my continent and my country. I think we will make a good team. We both play aggressive golf and try and make birdies which is something you need to do in any team event.”

It will be Poulter’s first appearance in the World Cup of Golf since 2011, where he and Justin Rose finished two shots behind the United States team of Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.

“It will be great to go back to Australia too. I love playing down there – Melbourne has some of the best golf courses in the world,” he added. “The Aussies are mad for their sport, too. There’s something very special for any England team to win in Australia no matter what the sport is so that will be another little incentive for us as well.”

ISPA HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf
Confirmed teams as of 20 September 2018
*Bold denotes first World Cup of Golf appearance

Rank Country Top Player Partner
Australia Marc Leishman Cameron Smith
England Tyrrell Hatton Ian Poulter
United States Kyle Stanley Matt Kuchar
Thailand Kiradech Aphibarnrat Prom Meesawat
South Africa Branden Grace Charl Schwartzel
Denmark Thorbjorn Olesen Soren Kjeldsen
Japan Satoshi Kodaira Hideto Tanihara
Korea Byeong Hun An Si Woo Kim
China Haotong Li Ashun Wu
Canada Adam Hadwin Nick Taylor
Scotland Russell Knox Martin Laird
Belgium Thomas Pieters Thomas Detry
Sweden Alexander Bjork Joakim Lagergren
New Zealand Ryan Fox Danny Lee
Venezuela Jhonattan Vegas Joseph Naffah
Spain Adrian Otaegui Jorge Campillo
Ireland Shane Lowry Paul Dunne
France Alexander Levy Michael Lorenzo-Vera
Austria Bernd Wiesberger Matthias Schwab 
India Shubhankar Sharma Anirban Lahiri
Netherlands Joost Luiten Daan Hizing
Finland Mikko Korhonen Mikko Ilonen
Mexico Abraham Ancer Roberto Diaz
Germany Martin Kaymer Maximilian Kieffer
Italy Andrea Pavan Renato Paratore
Zimbabwe Scott Vincent Benjamin Follett-Smith
Malaysia Gavin Kyle Green Ben Leong
*Argentina Emiliano Grillo (WD)