Irish avoid World Cup DQ

By Brian Keogh

Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin have avoided an Omega World Cup disqualification nightmare.

The pair were in danger of being thrown out of the tournament if they failed to meet the 6pm registration deadline on November 21.

But the European Tour has now confirmed that they can register as soon as they arrive at Mission Hills for the $5 million event.

The Ulster pair is facing a madcap trip to China if they qualify for next week's Qualifying School Finals in Spain and play all six rounds.

With the Q-School finals set to finish on Tuesday, they might not arrive in China until 5.50 pm on Wednesday.

The World Cup starts the following morning, which means they could be forced to play the biggest event of their golfing careers without a practice round

Horizon Sports Management's Conor Ridge is currently making plans to get his players from Malaga to China where the winning pair will pocket $800,000 each.

But it is not a simple trip as they must first fly to Madrid and from there to Paris to catch a connecting flight to Hong Kong.

Both players must first come through this week's Second Stage of the Q-School in southern Spain to make next week's finals

Padraig Harrington's decision to pull out of the World Cup meant Ireland had to qualify for the World Cup in Aruba.

But a host of tour stars such as Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell refused to take part and it fell to Challenge Tour players Hoey and Maybin to carry the flag.

The Ulstermen came second in the Nations Cup qualifying tournament in the Caribbean and are guaranteed at least $50,000 if they finish last in the 28-nation event from November 22-25.