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Palmer hoping to defend UBS Cup title

Arnold Palmer is hoping his streak of UBS Cup titles stays alive this weekend at Sea Island, Ga.

Not if longtime rival Tony Jacklin has anything to say about it.

Palmer, who captained the USA to a 12 ½ - 11 ½ victory at Kiawah Island in 2001 and spearheaded a successful defence of the trophy by 14 ½ - 9 ½ at Sea Island last year, will again lead the home side into action.

Teams comprise six players aged 40-49 and six players 50 and over in the $3 million match play event.

This year also sees the return of England's Jacklin into the arena of team captaincy. Jacklin takes over from Gary Player, who is South Africa now as Captain of the International team in The Presidents Cup.

Jacklin, as skipper of the Rest of the World side, and Palmer, are just two of the veterans of international golf competition who'll be featured at the UBS Cup.

On the American side Hal Sutton, Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange and Tom Watson have all led the Stars and Stripes in international play.

Jacklin, a winner of 29 titles around the world -- including the 1969 Open Championship and 1970 US Open Championship -- has won twice on the Champions Tour since turning 50.

Jacklin is delighted to have been called upon to assume the role of Captain once again and to be returning to Sea Island, the course he represented as a touring professional in the early 1970s.

"I am really looking forward to taking up the reigns of captaincy once again," said Jacklin. "When I was approached for this job, I have to admit that I leapt at the chance. The first two UBS Cups have been fantastic successes, apart from the results. With two U.S. wins so far, I am certainly hoping that I can reverse the trend!"

He'll have help from Colin Montgomerie, who qualifies as one of the players eligible between the ages of 40 and 49, having celebrated his 40th birthday in June.

Montgomerie has been a veteran of international match play events since 1991.

Scotland's Sam Torrance and Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty were originally in the Rest of the World side, but have elected to play in the Champions Tour Qualifying School. Their places were filled by Vicente Fernendez of Argentina and Ireland's Des Smyth, who played at Kiawah Island two years ago.

The UBS Cup is sponsored by UBS, one of the largest financial services firms in the world and sanctioned by both the European Seniors Tour and Champions Tour.

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