World Champions Cup Preview

World Champions Cup golf team competition Champions Tour
Golf History from Your Golfers Almanac cover art and Logo by Michael Duranko of GolfToons

GolfToons produces a daily golf history podcast, Your Golfer’s Almanac hosted by me, Michael Duranko. This week, golf history is coming to Sarasota. The inaugural World Champions Cup, a senior team competition is coming to Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, very close to me here in Sarasota. 

Here is the video from our Golf History YouTube Channel.

I plan to be there and will post updates and a summary, as well as video on our Golf History YouTube channel.   This post is the preview.  You will see below a discussion of the impressive senior golfers competing, the teams and captains, the venue, Concession GC, and the competition format. 

I should also mention Peter Jacobsen is the chairman of the event, a host of sorts.  He has been very involved in creating, developing, and putting all the pieces together for the event.  The World Champions Cup can be seen on ESPN, ESPN+, and ABC.  Hopefully this preview will help you understand the event details.

This senior team event fills the void for professional golfers over 50 years old.  Team competition is getting a lot of attention, and interest is rising.  Not just from LIV Golf, but I am getting more and more interested in the other team events, like the Walker Cup, the Curtis Cup, and the always thrilling Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup.  The Walker Cup was at St. Andrews this year, and I always love seeing golf on the Old Course.  

And now the newest entry, the World Champions Cup.  A senior golf team competition with a unique format pitting 3 teams vying for the as yet, unnamed Cup.

Teams and Golfers

You will see three teams of six golfers, including a playing captain.  The teams are Europe, led by Darren Clarke, the USA Team has Jim Furyk as captain, and the International team with Ernie Els leading the way.  Each team has a Vice-Captain, available to step in if anyone on the team is sidelined for any reason.  

I have covered all of the 21 golfers involved in the WCC event on my golf history podcast. The truth is these guys have written golf history over the last 30 years and I believe they’ll continue to make history going forward. Here are the teams. 

The International Team includes Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Steven Alker, Stephen Ames, and K.J. ChoiStuart Appleby is the Vice Captain.  That is a helluva line-up, 8 PGA Majors and 264 combined professional wins worldwide.  And these guys have never played in a Ryder Cup and I think they are hungry to take home the inaugural WCC Cup. 

The European team is led by Darren Clarke and includes, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Richard Karlsson, and Alex CjekaJesper Parnevik is the Vice Captain.  When you think of Champions Tour golf it is hard to have a conversation without mentioning Langer.  45 wins, the most ever on that tour.  12 majors and that is after his stellar career on the PGA and European tour and two Green Jackets.  The team has 289 combined professional wins, the most of the three teams.   They are a loose crew.

And the Yanks, with Captain Jim Furyk, David Toms, Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly, Justin Leonard, and Brett QuigleyBilly Andrade is the Vice Captain.  Lotsa Ryder Cup experience, and 11 Senior Majors.  They are the home team, so that might be an advantage. 


The format is unique as I said, with three teams competing.  And, all of the team members play in all of the matches every day, easier to do when all the matches are 9 holes. 

Three points are awarded on each hole. Low score gets 2 points, the next lowest score gets a point and the high score gets 0.  If two teams tie for the lowest score both teams get 1.5 points, and if all three tie, each team gets a point. Lastly, if two teams tie for high score, each team gets a half point.  

World Champions Cup golf team competition Champions Tour


The morning matches are Six Ball, which is a Best Ball.  So six golfers, six balls over nine holes.  Only one score counts for points per team. 

Scotch Sixsomes

In the afternoon they will play Scotch Sixsomes, where each player hits a tee shot, the team picks the best shot and plays alternate shot for the rest of the hole. So, again six balls off the tee with the same scoring.

Singles Matches

The first two days are the same format, Thursday (12/7) and Friday (12/8).  On Sunday (12/10) they will play six singles matches, where one member from each team plays his own ball for 9 holes. And the same scoring applies. 

A little different compared to the Ryder Cup or the Solheim Cup, all players will play in all sessions, which is kind of cool, you see every golfer every day.

Lotsa time on the tee box with six balls on every tee. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen or heard this format played, have you?

They will play the same nine holes each of the three days at Concession Golf Club.  

Concession Golf Club

Concession is a Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin co-design and opened in 2006.  The name comes from the famous gesture Nicklaus showed at the 1969 Ryder Cup, conceding a putt to Jacklin halving the match, though allowing the USA to retain the Ryder Cup. This was the first tie in Ryder Cup history. 

The golf course will be in pristine condition, our weather has been dry and hot this summer, but some recent rain and cooler weather have certainly helped. 

The golf course is challenging with massive green complexes and many options for pin placements.  There is water on every hole and the layout is tight with limited room for bailout.

They’ve set up the nine holes for maximum viewer engagement. I think the whole fan experience will be unique with different food and play venues sprinkled throughout the nine holes.  I’ll share more details in my update during the tournament.


With only 9 holes to play in each match, there is not much time for the golfers to warm up. And, at the same time with 6 tee shots on every hole, patience will be a factor in who plays well. The winning team will likely jump to an early lead, getting as many points as early in each match as possible. I predict the European Team will win, though my alternate prediction is a tie. That would be fun to see.

The people who organized the World Champions Cup have a lot of momentum and included many clever elements into the event. Now all that’s left to do is tee it up and play the matches.

On Saturday, they play a Pro-Am that is closed to attendees but you can watch it on ESPN+.  The Saturday pause is a bit unusual though, smart when you look at the lineup for football games on Saturday.

The PGA and LPGA are playing the Grant Thorton Invitational event south of here in Naples with a limited field.

Lastly, here is a GolfToon Marty did when Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Senior Open Championship in 2018 at the Old Course in St. Andrews.


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