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Can anyone stop Woods & Duval at World Cup?

Tiger Woods brings the curtain down on a phenomenal 2000 this week when he defends the World Cup with David Duval in Buenos Aires.

After three majors and eight other victories, Woods with Duval, his predecessor as world number one, would be favourites against any partnership in the game today.

Their cause is certainly helped by the absence of some of the world’s biggest names outside of America.

Seventeen of the 24 competing countries were seeded off the world rankings, but no fewer than 10 of them do not have their highest-ranked player present.

England are without Lee Westwood, Scotland without Colin Montgomerie and Ireland without Darren Clarke.

Sun City winner Ernie Els will not be representing South Africa, Spain are without Sergio Garcia, Sweden without Jesper Parnevik and also missing are Nick Price for Zimbabwe, Michael Campbell for New Zealand and Bernhard Langer for Germany.

Australia are having to do without all seven of their players currently in the world's top 100 - Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Greg Norman, Craig Parry, Greg Chalmers, Stephen Leaney and Nick O'Hern.

On top of all that, Vijay Singh's decision not to play means Fiji do not warrant a place at all and only this weekend Thomas Bjorn's foot injury led to Denmark being replaced by Venezuela.

England pin their hopes this time on Jamie Spence and Brian Davis, who did not win a game between them in the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews in October.

Scotland rely on 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie - without a win this season - and Gary Orr to try to bring them their first-ever World Cup success, while Ian Woosnam, winner with David Llewellyn back in 1987, has Phillip Price as his partner for the fifth time.

Ireland will be re-uniting their 1997 winning pair Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.

Last year Woods enjoyed a double success. He and partner Mark O’Meara won the team event by five shots in Spain and Woods s took the individual prize by nine.

However, organisers have scrapped the personal section and instead of 72 holes of regular strokeplay the second and final rounds are foursomes.

First prize for the top duo has been massively increased from $400,000 to $1million.

This week's event marks the end of an eight-week run, which has taken him around the world and, not surprisingly, he is taking Christmas and the New Year off to relax a little.

 

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