Published: Nov 16, 2011 1:54 AM EST
Updated: Nov 16, 2011 7:30 AM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - The International team's bonding "cabin" at Royal Melbourne is furnished with images of sporting triumphs from the four countries represented - golf, cricket and rugby successes from Australia and South Africa, and baseball and football pictures from South Korea and Japan.

The one that impresses assistant captain Tim Clark of South Africa the most is a team shot of the winning International side from 1998 at Royal Melbourne, its only triumph against the United States in eight previous tournaments.

"It's really the photo that stands out," Clark said Wednesday. "I think we all go there and see that, and that's one of his fondest memories on the golf course. Most of us have not had a chance to experience that, winning this tournament, and so I think that's a big driving force for us this week."

Near the entrance, there's a tribute to former Australia cricket captain Steve Waugh's century at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2003.

There are also photos of South Africa's Rugby World Cup wins in 1995 and 2007, South Korea's Olympic baseball gold medal in 2008 and Japan's women's World Cup football victory this year.

That covers the nationalities of the team that begins play Thursday - Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Robert Allenby, Jason Day and Adam Scott of Australia, Charl Schwartzel, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els of South Africa, K. J. Choi, Kyung-tae Kim and Y.E. Yang of South Korea and Ryo Ishikawa of Japan.

"The guys are from different countries, but when we get in that team room, it's really bonded," Clark said. "Very few egos on the team. Guys enjoy everyone else's company. We are here to help each other and vice versa. I know there's some language barriers here and there, but really for the most part, the guys find a way to get on and enjoy themselves."

Frank Nobilo, the other assistant captain for the International team, and who is in that 1998 photo, says team cohesion is one of its biggest issues.

"When you look at the program, you'll see the American side will have 12 names next to it," Nobilo said. "And if you look at the International side, even the program, it splits us up into our various countries. So invariably, you go from Monday, when you try to get everybody here and you try to sort of defuse that; that you are now the International Team.

"You are not from Korea; you are not from Australia; you are not from South Africa. I really think that's the only sort of thing that makes sense. We sort of get it by Friday and Saturday, and then we are playing catch up."

Nobilo said he feels that's affected the International team's pairings in the past.

"You sort of think, well, logically a South African should play with a South African or an Australian should play with an Australian," he said. "Really the only language that's familiar on our team is golf. So we are trying to look more at that and hopefully we get it right this time."

Nobilo, now a television commentator with the Golf Channel in the United States, said his 1998 win with the Internationals rates as his career highlight because the team overcame their different backgrounds to unite successfully.

"... when you put them together, you wouldn't think it was possible," Nobilo said. "So in 1998, when it did happen, it's amazing how 12 people from all over the world really felt as one.

"It's amazing what can be done and that's why it rates at the top of the tree for me."