Padraig Harrington believes his "odd couple" relationship with Paul McGinley can bring Ireland World Cup glory in Barbados.

The Dubliners are as different as chalk and cheese with 6 foot 1 Harrington towering over his 5 foot 7 inch partner.

The pair lifted the World Cup at Kiawah Island in 1997, before it became part of the World Golf Championship series in 2000.

And while Harrington is now European No 1 and a massive 63 places ahead McGinley in the world rankings, he believes they have the chemistry to blow the opposition away at the Sandy Lane Resort.

As he prepared to partner McGinley for the 10th successive time, Harrington said: "We are a bit of an odd couple I suppose. We are on totally opposite poles when it comes to how we play golf. However, as a team we play very much as individuals.

"He likes to be grinding and gritty and fighting on the golf course. And I like to be happy go lucky on the golf course. So we are at different ends in that.

"Paul is very steady player a hits a lot of fairways. So if we pick the right golf course we can perform together."

After finishing a disappointing 12th behind Wales in last year’s weather-shortened edition in Portugal, the odd couple Irishmen will be hoping to take advantage of expected low scoring on The Country Club course owned by pals JP McManus and Dermot Desmond.

Harrington added: "Paul’s a good driver of the golf ball and hits it very straight. I am a little bit longer so we've got a combination there that if we can pick suitable holes we can make a better foursomes game than our individuals games, let's say."

McGinley, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Saturday week, is under pressure to perform after a disastrous season that has seen him crash 50 places down the world rankings to 71st.

But Harrington has no doubt that his close friend will produce the goods when he pulls on the green of Ireland today.

He said: "Paul definitely likes playing in team events. Though he was put under pressure at different times during the year, he really delivered when the Ryder Cup came round.

"We both enjoy playing together at events like the World Cup and I expect this week will be no different.

"In 1997 when we won the World Cup, we hardly met on the golf course that week. He hit it down the fairway all the time and I was all over the place. But at the end of the day we got the job done."

McGinley always seems to manage to rise to the occasion when he lines out for Ireland.

After the Ryder Cup at the K Club he admitted that it was pride that pulled him through in the end after a season of struggles and recurrence of his knee problems.

McGinley said: "Pride covers everything. Pride for your family, yourself, your team mates, your country, for Continental Europe, the European Tour, for the captain. There are so many things go into the equation."

Pride also will be a vital factor for the American pairing of JJ Henry and Stewart Cink - two of the better US players in the Ryder Cup at the K Club.

The USA has won 23 World Cups but it has not lift the John Hopkins Trophy since David Duval and Tiger Woods teamed up to win in Buenos Aires six years ago - the first time it became part of the World Golf Championship series.

Woods has not played in the event since he and David Duval lost in a playoff in Japan in 2001, a year after they won the title in Argentina.

But Henry, who was generously handed a half by McGinley in their Ryder Cup singles clash, is determined to make people forget that Woods is not playing and end his year on a high.

Henry said: "You play 51 weeks of the year where it is you, or you and your caddie, against the rest of the world. Stewart Cink and I really team up well in the Ryder Cup. We played two fourball matches and really played very well.

"I am really looking forward to playing with him. We get on great. Our games are very similar. Unfortunately we didn't win the Ryder Cup so maybe we can bring the World Cup back home."

Harrington and England’s Luke Donald are the only members of the world’s top ten taking part this week.

Americans Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love , David Toms and Chris DiMarco all turned down the chance to compete for their country this week while leading South African pair of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen and Spain’s Sergio Garcia are also unavailable.

Donald admits that the event has been devalued by several countries fielding weakened teams with the Americans going down to world No 25 Cink and No 67 Henry.

Ranked ninth in the world, Donald said: "The USA have very strong players, the top three in the world, so it's a shame they have to go down that low to find their first player.

"It would be nice to have a little bit of a stronger team. It is, after all, a world event, and when you have a nation that has such strong players - and Stewart Cink and JJ Henry are very strong players - to have to go that far down on the list weakens the overall feel of the tournament.

"But I don't think you can just single out the US for not fielding their strongest team. I'm sure other teams this week could potentially field stronger teams.

"If Tiger, Phil or Jim do turn up, and people know that they are going to turn up ahead of time, maybe that sends a message to the other players that we should be playing here as well. It can create a stronger field that way."

Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who is playing for the event for the first time since 1999 alongside Marc Warren, echoed Donald’s feelings.

Monty said: "It's a shame that the first choice of countries wish not to participate. When we have the three other World Golf Championship events, and all the money they are playing for in the States in particular, this is unfortunately just another one that might not fit in.

"Other tournaments have come into the calendar, there are more tournaments of this value and prize money around than ever before so there is more choice."

WGC - Barbados World Cup

Tee times

08:18 Germany (Bernhard Langer & Marcel Siem), Jamaica (Peter Horrobin & Delroy Cambridge;

08:30 Australia (John Senden & Mark Hensby), Colombia (Camilo Villegas & Manuel Merizalde);

08:42 Spain (Miguel Angel Jiménez & Gonzalo Fernandez), Japan (Hideto Tanihara & Tetsuji Hiratsuka);

08:54 Denmark(Thomas Björn & Søren Hansen), Canada (Mike Weir & Jim Rutledge);

09:06 South Africa (Rory Sabbatini & Richard Sterne), Mexico (Octavio Gonzalez & Esteban Toledo);

09:18 Argentina(Angel Cabrera & Andres Romero), France (Raphael Jacquelin & Jean Van De Velde);

09:30 USA (Stewart Cink & J J Henry), Italy (Francesco Molinari & Emanuele Canonica);

09:42 Ireland (Padraig Harrington & Paul McGinley), Singapore (Mardan Mamat & Chih-Bing Lam);

09:54 Scotland (Colin Montgomerie & Marc Warren), Switzerland (Martin Rominger & Nicolas Sulzer);

10:06 England (Luke Donald & David Howell), Korea (S K Ho & Charlie Wi);

10:18 Sweden (Henrik Stenson & Carl Pettersson), Trinidad & Tobago(Stephen Ames & Robert Ames);

10:30 Barbados (Roger Beale Jr. & James Johnson), Wales (Bradley Dredge & Stephen Dodd).