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Jordan Mixed Open: Is This Golf's Most Daring Event?

Men, women and male senior tour pros will compete against each other at this week's Jordan Mixed Open. (Photo: Ladies European Tour)
This week's Jordan Mixed Open on a Greg Norman-designed course is breaking new ground with a format that has never been tried in the history of professional golf.

Men, women and senior professionals from the Ladies European, Challenge and European Senior Tours will compete on the same course, at the same time and, most importantly, against each other.

The 123-person field at Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, Jordan will be comprised of 40 golfers from each tour plus three amateurs and played as a 54-hole stroke play event with a cut to the top 60 players and ties for the final round.

But the key difference in how the course will play will be dictated by three sets of tees for the players from each tour.

Challenge Tour players will play Ayla's course at a length of about 6,492 metres while Staysure Tour (European Senior) players will compete from approximately 6,036 metres and Ladies European Tour players from approximately 5,614 metres.

While the difference in course length is black and white, the variance in how the respective layouts will play is a little more complicated.

Officials from each tour will work together to decide course set-up for each round and choose pin positions with the hope of creating an equally difficult test for men, women and seniors.

The Staysure Tour's website states: "Despite the differences in trajectory and spin rates between players from the three Tours, pin positions will be accessible to all players who have driven the ball well and are approaching the green from the correct position in the fairway."

Norman has thrown his support behind the highly-innovative format.

"Any initiative that sets to break down the barriers that prevent people from taking up the sport and that looks to change the narrative regarding women and girls in sport must be encouraged," said the Australian golf legend. 

"To construct a format in which women and men compete together over the same course is an impressive feat and there is no doubt that events that showcase golfing talent regardless of gender, such as the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla, are the future of the game." 

The Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla has a total prize fund of USD$393,000, with the winner earning $60,465.

Among the headline women in the field are recent winners in Australia Meghan MacLaren and Marianne Skarpnord, Solheim Cup veteran Trish Johnson, American Beth Allen and 2017 Solheim Cup stars Florentyna Parker Emily Pedersen.

Former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane is also in the field.

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