By Bernie McGuire, Reuters
HAIKOU, China–The format of golf’s World Cup will change in 2013 to mirror the competition at the 2016 Olympics when the sport makes its return to the Games in Brazil, organizers told Reuters on Saturday. The tournament will also command world ranking points and bring back an individual four-round trophy for the first time since 1999 when Tiger Woods won the individual award in Malaysia. Ken Chu, chairman and CEO of Mission Hills, confirmed the changes would be taking place for the 2013 event. “The World Cup will change format, and it will begin enjoying world rankings points, and it will still be held biennially and at around this time of year,” he told Reuters. “But with golf to be in the 2016 Olympics the equation in golf changes, and these changes to the World Cup will be having the Olympics in mind.” Chu, along with his younger brother Tenniel, Mission Hills vice chairman, held meetings earlier this week at Haikou with the Federation of Golf Tours heads, including PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and his European Tour counterpart, George O’Grady.
Chu indicated the Federation would release a joint statement shortly confirming the changes. He also rejected suggestions this year’s World Cup will be the last after some reports in the media said the event would fold. His younger brother said the upcoming announcement on the changes was “exciting news for the future of the World Cup.”