In Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, the USA has one of the strongest teams to enter this year's World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath. Fowler is a perennial Top 20 OWGR player, while Walker won the most recent major, his first, when he triumphed at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in July.

While the pair may not seem very similar at first glance, the two friends share plenty off of the golf course, including a love of cars, the same coach and more than the odd laugh.

"I think we're going to both enjoy each other's company," says Walker. "We like the same things, enjoy talking about cars and we've just got a lot of things in common.  I think that that will translate onto the golf course."

"I think outside all that, obviously we love hanging out, we spend a lot of time on the golf course but also off," adds Fowler. "I made a trip to his place in Texas to hang out for a few days last year and we try and plan trips to see (coach) Butch (Harmon) in Vegas together." 

Fowler is conspicuous on the course, often seen in loud colours, never hiding his emotions, and calls himself as an adrenaline junkie. By contrast Walker appears conscientious, quiet and dresses accordingly.

Beneath those visual differences there is a great friendship, and a huge respect in the way each approaches the game.

"I'm really honoured that Rickie asked me to play," says Walker. "He's a great partner.  We've had success in the past and I look forward to continuing that this week."

"We're both pretty easy-going out there on the golf course, so he's not going to get too upset at me, I'm not going to get upset at him," adds Fowler. "Go hit it and find it and we'll move forward."

There's inspiration too from a fellow American who, alongside Fred Couples, owned and won the World Cup of Golf for the USA for four consecutive years in the 1990s.

"Davis (Love III) sent both of us a text the other day," says Walker. ""Go do what Freddie and I did back in the day, bring it home." I can remember watching that when that happened. He knows what's going on.  He knows two of his guys are going down here to play and have a chance to bring it home.  I know both of us enjoyed that."

Both players will be making their World Cup of Golf debuts at Kingston Heath, but there's a steely belief they have the game to deliver a 25th American win, on Melbourne's famed sandbelt.

"Well, I know my partner feels good, I feel good," says Walker. "I think we've got our eyes set on the trophy.  We were looking at it yesterday at the opening ceremonies and it would be fun to hoist that at the end of the week."

"I've played well down here," says Fowler. "Jimmy's played well down here and this style of golf definitely fits our games and we both like to hit shots."

In a high profile pairing, Australia and the USA will play the opening round together on Thursday. There will be a competitive edge playing alongside the home team of Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, but also a lot of laughs.

"Love playing with Scotty, same with Leish, says Fowler. "My caddie, his best friend is Marc's caddie, Matty, so it's going to be a fun day.  It would be nice if we could kind of keep the mojo going, play well and stay with those boys through the week."

Asked if the quality of the courses could one day see a PGA TOUR event played regularly in Australia, both agreed, before Fowler provided another reason why he would be tempted to keep returning.

"I love it down here, I love coming down here.  It's comfortable, there's no language barrier and that's nice since I only speak the one language.  I've got to work on broadening my horizons there."

There will be no need to translate Fowler and Walker's broad smiles, if the Americans grab a 25th title for their nation on Sunday afternoon.