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The Presidents Cup has grown from the germ of an idea in 1990 to become one of the most popular international sporting events. This year it comes to Royal Melbourne Golf Club, hosting it for the second time. Our Melbourne correspondent takes us to the fairways and greens to watch 24 of the world’s best golfers in action.
There is excitement in the air in the build up to the battle of the giants of the golfing world.
Two teams – the United States Team and the International Team each consisting of 12 top players, are warming up to compete in the prestigious Presidents Cup.
This year it comes to Royal Melbourne Golf Club, hosting it for the second time.
The first time was in 1998 with 138 million viewers, this time it is estimated at 600 million.
[Phil Mickelson, U.S. Team Player]:
“The excitement level amongst the people here in Australia has been one of the highest that I’ve seen and the support that we are having this week is pretty impressive.”
This team competition held every two years is extremely popular with golf fans as it provides six days of high class golf.
And Tiger Woods is back in the game.
Golfers find that playing in a team is a different experience.
[Frank Nobilo, Captain’s Assistant]:
“When twelve play as one it’s amazing what can be done and that’s why it rates to the top of the tree for me.”
[Hunter Mahan, U.S. Team Player]:
“To come here and be part of this, it’s great it’s fun. Just to hang out with the guys everybody drops their guard a little bit and you get to see each player and each guy in a little different light and we have a lot of fun”
A unique feature of this large sporting event is that the players are not paid but donate the money to a charity of their own choice.
Over 23 million has been distributed to different charities in fifteen countries since 1994.