Dennis Pasa says this week's World Cup at Royal Melbourne offers a "glimpse of what to expect when golf returns to the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016." Until it doesn't. Which Pasa points out.
First, there is the Britain/Ireland mess in 2016 that the PGA Tour's common sense deals with. Take note IOC and friends.
At the Olympics, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete as Britain. But at the World Cup, England, Scotland and Wales will compete as separate countries. To muddy the waters a bit more at the World Cup, the tradition is for Ireland and Northern Ireland to compete as Ireland. McIlroy is not competing at Royal Melbourne this week, and is confident he still retains the selection choice for the Olympics.
As for the format...it's almost Olympic-like.
Players in the top 15 on the Official World Golf Ranking gain access to the World Cup, with the exception that there will be no more than four players for any country. After the top 15, up to two players are allowed per country until the field of about 60 is filled.
It's still largely an individual event even though the old World Cup was more about the team. I say, we'll live. We get another week of great players at Royal Melbourne and the Olympic format is a lost cause anyway! You can follow the action online here at the PGA Tour's World Cup page. In the USA, coverage starts Wednesday night on Golf Channel at 9 pm ET.