As Malaysia and Thailand lead the Asian Qualifier for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at the Fortis International Challenge, 19 nations were preparing for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Aruba Qualifier.
The stunning Tierra del Sol Resort, Spa & CC in sunny Aruba is a fitting setting for the 38 players who are preparing to do battle for the five available places at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, to be played in China from November 22-25.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and open since January 1995, the 6811 yard par 71 course features gorgeous desert vegetation and strong winds coming from the Caribbean Sea, which offers its striking turquoise colour views throughout most holes.
“It’s still difficult to play with the wind,” commented Ireland’s Michael Hoey, who uses to play in windy conditions back at home. “You just have to use the wind a little bit, hit the shots and take plenty of club.”
Hoey and his partner, Gareth Maybin, along with Chilean Mark Tullo and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari all played in the European Challenge Tour’s Kazakhstan Open that finished last Sunday, making their trip to Aruba the longest for those competing here.
Before heading to the island, the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion Edoardo went home to reunite with his brother Francesco, and arrived feeling good about their chances.
“We play together all the time, so we know each other very well. Both of us are playing well right now and hopefully we could end up winning this qualifier,” commented Edoardo, with two victories on the 2007 Challenge Tour.
Thanks to four time US PGA Tour champion Carlos Franco, Paraguay look strong among the favourites to win in Aruba. Franco finished third at the 2000 World Cup in Argentina and looks forward to making the event once again. “Nothing compares to the pride of representing your country”, said Franco, teaming up with Fabrizio Zanotti, who is competing in the World Cup for the first time in his career.
The Omega Mission Hills World Cup Aruba Qualifier 2007 is being staged by the Tour de las Americas, an Associate Member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. The event will follow the same format of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup: best-ball (fourball) the first and third days and alternate-shots (foursomes) the second and final days.
The following are the nineteen teams starting competing for the five available places at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup:
BAHAMAS: Keno Turnquest and Samuel Kemp
BERMUDA: Dwayne Pearman and Kim Swan
BRAZIL: Alexandre Rocha and Phillipe Gasnier
CHILE: Mark Tullo and Christian León
COLOMBIA: Gustavo Mendoza and Jorge Benedetti
COSTA RICA: Alejandro Duque and Juan Marín
CZECK REPUBLIC: Petr SKOPOVÝ and Jakub KUCERA
ECUADOR: Rafael Ponce and Andres Moncayo
EL SALVADOR: Fernando Figueroa and Victor Melara
GUATEMALA: Alejandro Villavicencio and Pablo Acuña
IRELAND: Gareth Maybin and Michael Hoey
ITALY: Edoardo Molinari and Francesco Molinari
JAMAICA: Peter Horrobin and Owen Samuda
MEXICO: Esteban Toledo and Jose Trauwitz
PARAGUAY: Carlos Franco and Fabrizio Zanotti
PERU: Luis F. Graf and Jose Cárdenas
PUERTO RICO: Wilfredo Morales and Miguel Suárez
SERBIA: Igor Milicic and Mihail Lanic
VENEZUELA: Juan Carlos Berastegui and Miguel Martínez