Scots aiming to break World Cup duck

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The Independent Online

Dean Robertson is determined not to let team-mate Colin Montgomerie down as Scotland aim to win the World Cup of Golf for the first time.

Dean Robertson is determined not to let team-mate Colin Montgomerie down as Scotland aim to win the World Cup of Golf for the first time.

Scotland are the only home nation not to have won the tournament since the inaugural event was hosted by Montreal in 1953.

This year's 32-nation competition begins at the Mines Resort course in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow and Robertson, winner of the Italian Open in May, aims to do his part for the Scottish cause.

"Colin and I want to win and with the way he's been playing this year it will be up to me to hold up my end of the show," said Robertson ahead of his Scotland debut.

Montgomerie, of course, has just secured his position as European number one for an incredible seventh successive season and will need no motivation to add yet another title to his immense collection.

But he did bristle when reminded after the rain-shortened pre-event pro-am that the Scots have never won the tournament whereas Ireland, Wales and England all have.

"Thank you for letting me know that," said Montgomerie, who has already won five Order of Merit events this season in addition to the Cisco World Matchplay title while banking around £1.3million in prize money.

"We are delighted to be here and I'm looking forward to the competition. The course is in good condition."

But Montgomerie is wary of the Malaysian weather and said: "It was lovely and warm on the front nine and quite wet on the back.

"It just seems to be that every day at around three or four o'clock we're going to get wet, so we will have to get off quick or get around before that happens."

England ended their winless drought in the tournament last year but the winning combination of Nick Faldo and David Carter has been disbanded in favour of Mark James and Peter Baker.

James, who captained Europe's unsuccessful defence of the Ryder Cup in September, is making his 10th World Cup appearance while Baker is competing in his first.

"I don't feel we're defending champions, though it's nice to represent your country," said Baker.

"The course is a good lay-out but tough and one of the best courses I have played."

Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington are the only players in the field to have previously tasted success in the tournament having won the title for Ireland at Kiawah Island two years ago.

The pair are together again for a third straight season and are quietly confident of wresting the trophy back into Irish hands despite the presence of formidable American pairing Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara.

"It's a team event where both scores count and Tiger's only going to play as good this week as Mark O'Meara and vice-versa," said McGinley.

"Tiger's certainly playing extraordinary golf at the moment and the Americans will definitely be a factor this week, but there are quite a few teams who are in with a chance.

"I think Argentina will be factor, so too will England and Scotland as well as Spain.

"There are a lot of teams that can hit form and win. But admittedly America are a strong team and they're odds-on favourites."

Harrington, who has recovered from a recent shoulder injury, has a decent World Cup record, recording par or better in the eight rounds he has contested to date.

Welshman David Park is another player making his World Cup debut having earned his place alongside Phillip Price after a marvellous first European Tour season which included victory in the Compaq European Grand Prix.

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