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(Reuters) - The Presidents Cup will return to Royal Melbourne Golf Club in 2019 with the Sandbelt course hosting the international team competition for the third time in the 25-year history of the biennial event.
The match play competition between the United States and an International Team was previously held at the famed Melbourne layout, the only venue outside the U.S. to host a Presidents Cup more than once, in 1998 and 2011.
Melbourne also holds the distinction as the site of the lone International Team victory in 1998, when Peter Thomson's squad defeated Jack Nicklaus’s U.S. Team 20.5 to 11.5.
In 2011, Fred Couples captained the U.S. Team to a 19-15 win over Greg Norman and the Internationals.“We’re thrilled to once again be returning to the prestigious and storied Royal Melbourne Golf Club,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
“Our history there speaks volumes about not only the course and its ability to host world-class competitions, but also the surrounding area in Melbourne as a destination for our fans and players.
"Returning to such a storied course for this event, especially as both teams have been victorious there, is a special privilege and sets both teams up for an even playing field to break the tie."The oldest golf club in Australia, Royal Melbourne was founded in 1891 and moved to its current location in 1926, becoming the Alister MacKenzie-designed anchor of what is now known as the Sandbelt.
The event will be played on a composite of holes from the club's East and West courses.
“Royal Melbourne is delighted to be chosen to host the 2019 Presidents Cup,” said David Thomas, Captain of Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
"Past encounters have invariably included many fine matches, with players from both teams displaying finely honed golfing skills and exhibiting outstanding sportsmanship in a team environment."
The 2017 Presidents Cup takes place at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey from Sept 28 to Oct 1 with Steve Stricker leading the home side and Zimbabwean Nick Price captaining the tourists.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Nick Mulvenney