American World Cup star Kyle Stanley has announced he will be extending his stay Down Under to play the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship.
The two-time winner on the PGA Tour will first arrive at The Lakes in Sydney to compete in his fourth Australian Open (starting November 15), before travelling with Matt Kuchar to Melbourne to represent the United States at Metropolitan for the World Cup of Golf.
“I’m going to play the Australian Open the week before [the World Cup] and the PGA the week after,” Stanley told an Australian teleconference. “I’ve played The Lakes course before. I played pretty well there in 2011 (11th) so I like that golf course as well.”
Stanley – who currently sits 27th in the Official World Golf Ranking – will be making his debut at the World Cup of Golf after his higher-ranked countrymen waived the opportunity to don the red, white and blue to either celebrate Thanksgiving, attend friends’ weddings or partake in high-stakes matches.
“It’s my first time in the tournament and it’s an honour to represent the country.” – Kyle Stanley
The 30-year-old from the state of Washington, however, was thrilled by the prospect and was quick to call upon the experience of Kuchar.
“It’s my first time in the tournament and it’s an honour to represent the country,” Stanley said. “He [Kuchar] is going to be down there playing the Australian Open the week before and he has a lot of experience in these formats from the two World Cups he’s played – and he won one (2011) and finished second [to Australia] in the other (2013).
“He’s a player with a lot of experience whose game is really good. We just chatted on the phone and thought we’d make a good team so decided to go for it.”
Stanley will return to Metropolitan for the first time since 2014 – when he finished T35 at the Australian Masters – and, despite admitting he will need to reacquaint himself with the course, recalls the strategic focus that’s required around the Oakleigh South layout.
“It’s a not a golf course where you can just hit driver whenever you want so the strategy aspect of it will be fun,” Stanley said. “It’s a course where you have to think you way around, especially with the alternate shot format.”
RIGHT: Stanley in action during the 2011 Australian Open at The Lakes. PHOTO: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.
Two players familiar with the demands of Metropolitan are Marc Leishman – who claimed his fourth PGA Tour title on the weekend at the CIMB Classic – and 25-year-old Queenslander Cameron Smith.
The pair will team up to create an admirable Australian side that’s expected to go close to lifting the World Cup on November 25. But Stanley and Kuchar represent just some of the tough opposition standing in their way.
Ryder Cup winners Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter will partner to form team England, Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel will do the same for South Africa, while Thorbjørn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen will be hoping to defend the Cup for Denmark.
“I think it’s an event that’s on the rise a little bit,” Stanley said. “When you look at some of the teams and guys that have won in the past and some of the guys that have played together … Just World Cup competitions in general are pretty neat.
“I’m really excited to be playing the event and it’s certainly something that Matt and I are going to go down there with the goal of winning the tournament.”