McIlroy up for the Cup as Poulter vows to end English drought

Rory McIlroy will look to consign his Dubai dejection to the past with victory in this week's Omega Mission Hills World Cup. The Ulsterman is representing Ireland alongside the Ryder Cup player Graeme McDowell. The 20-year-old missed out on the Order of Merit title on Sunday when the brilliant Lee Westwood overhauled his £115,000 lead in the Dubai World Championship. However, McIlroy did fare impressively in the season-ender, finishing third with four sub-70 rounds, and the new world No 10 has a chance to end his year on the high it deserves. "It's very easy to stay motivated – I don't want to let my partner down," said McIlroy. "We are playing for our country, which is a huge honour. I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't be motivated."

McIlroy and McDowell teamed up to win three out of four matches in September as Great Britain and Ireland won the Vivendi Trophy. They are one of the favourites in a 17-team field including, Sweden's defending champions, Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson, and England's fancied duo of Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.

"It's time that England won the World Cup again," said Poulter, referring to the five-year drought since Luke Donald and Paul Casey prevailed in Seville. "With four English players in the world's top 20 it shows how good English golf is. So it's about time we stepped up to the mark on the world stage."

The event, which begins at Mission Hills tomorrow, features four days of alternating foursomes and fourballs. Scotland (Alastair Forsyth and David Drysdale) and Wales (Stephen Dodd and Jamie Donaldson) also tee it up.

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