Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his ball on the third hole during the second round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in Dubai November 15, 2013.

The World Cup of Golf is celebrating its 60th year as it is all set to start on Thursday at Royal Melbourne. Eight individuals and 26 two-people teams will fight for $8 million and the glory of being the world champion. The Associate Press reveals things which you must know about the championship.

Return to the Olympics

Golf is all set to return to the Olympics in 2016. That is why the format of the game is substantially changed to make it more of stroke-play so that the game promises to be much more entertaining to the mass. The World Cup participants have been decided by their World Golf Ranking. The same will be used, along with the number of allowed players from individual countries, for selecting the players who will be allowed to perform at the 2016 Olympics.

Individuals & Countries

Wales, Scotland and England will play as individual countries, while Ireland and Northern Ireland will play for Ireland at the World Cup. On the contrary, Wales, Scotland and England will (along with Northern Ireland) play as Britain at the Olympics. This has some adverse effects on some golfers like Rory McIlroy who may decide to opt out of the Olympics if he is forced by any single country to play for them.

The Canada Cup

Antonio Cerda and Roberto De Vicenzo became the champions for Argentina at the Montreal World Cup in Canada in 1953. It was the first time when the World Cup was held, but it was known as the Canada Cup during those days. Many celebrated golfers represented their countries at the Canada Cup which became the World Cup for Golf in 1967. Some of the renowned players who won the championship for their countries include Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Fred Couples and Ben Hogan.

The American Dominance

The highest number of World Cup victory is achieved by the U.S. They won it for a staggering 24 times and are the defending champions at the moment. In 2011, Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar finished a couple of strokes ahead of Justin Rose and Ian Poulter who represented England.