Wales spared World Cup qualifier

Rhys Davies
Rhys Davies will represent Wales alongside Jamie Donaldson

Wales have been spared from having to qualify for the World Cup in November as higher-ranked players have rejected the chance to play in the tournament.

The 18 exempt nations were determined by the world rankings two weeks ago and Wales would have been 19th.

But Koreans KJ Choi, Kim Kyung-tae and YE Yang, Fijian Vijay Singh and Argentina's Angel Cabrera have all decided not to play in China.

Jamie Donaldson and Rhys Davies will represent Wales at Mission Hills.

Welsh pair Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge won the World Cup in 2005 for the second time, 18 years after David Llewellyn and Ian Woosnam won the tournament.

Thailand and Zimbabwe have also been advised that they do not have to go through qualifying for the World Cup.

Ian Poulter will play for England for the fifth time after Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey rejected the chance to play at the World Cup.

Poulter - and Scot Martin Laird - has still to select a partner but US Open champion Rory McIlroy has already decided to stay with last year's US Open champion Graeme McDowell.

They were runners-up to Italians Francesco and Edoardo Molinari when the tournament was last staged at Mission Hills two years ago - and the Molinaris will be back to defend their title.

America's current top three Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson have all declined invitations, but world number 11 Matt Kuchar is going to play - and has yet to name his partner.

Ireland are not the only side with two major winners as South Africa boast Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and last year's Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.

Australia has been hit by the most withdrawals so with no Jason Day, Adam Scott, Robert Allenby, Geoff Ogilvy or Aaron Baddeley, the Aussie team in China will be Brendan Jones and Richard Green.

Nine more nations will earn places via qualifiers in Asia, Europe and South America, with the top three from each playing in the event, and China qualify automatically as hosts.

World Cup confirmed teams: Germany (Martin Kaymer, AN Other), Ireland (Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell), United States (Matt Kuchar, AN Other), South Africa (Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen), England (Ian Poulter, AN Other), Sweden (Robert Karlsson, AN Other), Italy (Francesco and Edoardo Molinari), Spain (Alvaro Quiros, AN Other), Scotland (Martin Laird, AN Other), Denmark (Anders Hansen, Thomas Bjorn), Japan (Yuta Ikeda, Tetsuji Hiratsuka), France (Raphael Jacquelin, AN Other), Australia (Brendan Jones, Richard Green), Belgium (Nicolas Colsaerts, Jerome Theunis), Colombia (Camilo and Manuel Villegas), Wales (Jamie Donaldson, Rhys Davies), Thailand (Thongchai Jaidee, AN Other), Zimbabwe (Brendon de Jonge, AN Other)