Tour News

Women Join World First Pro Golf Format

England's Charley Hull will compete in a never-before-seen pro format on home soil in May.
Men and women will compete together at the European Tour's GolfSixes event in England in May in what's being billed as a world first for professional golf.

GolfSixes - introduced last year featuring two-man teams from 16 different nations in a match play format - will this year include four mixed gender teams among the 16.

The European Tour said it will be the first time men and women pros have played together in competitive match play.

European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew will join forces to form a ‘Captains Team’ in the event's second staging at the Centurion Club in St Albans from May 5-6.

The ‘Captains Team’ will be only one of four 'wild card' teams at the €1 million event; Georgia Hall and Charley Hull will form an ‘England Women’s Team’ and a ‘European Women’s Team’ will feature England’s Mel Reid and Norwegian Suzann Pettersen.

The European Tour said it will announce a fourth wild card duo " towards the end of next month."

“There are so many 72-hole tournaments around the world that there has to be room for something else which puts a different spin on golf and brings more interest," Bjørn said.

“I think it’s hugely important to also try and break down the barriers that have existed in golf between the men’s and women’s games.

"When this opportunity arose to play as Ryder Cup Captain, I thought it was only right to speak to Catriona as the Solheim Cup Captain about forming a team, and we’re both really looking forward to it.

“I was delighted when Thomas asked me to play GolfSixes," Matthew said. 

"I had to move my schedule around a little bit but the moment I heard about the chance to play, I definitely wanted to be part of it.

The GolfSixes features a series of round robin match play on the first day before head-to-head six-hole matches on the second and final day and was last year won by the Danish team of Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjørn Olesen.

“The fact it is something different for golf is great – in terms of the round robin match play format then head to head matches, in addition to the men and women playing together of course," Matthew said. 

European Tour boss Keith Pelley said: “GolfSixes is something that we championed last year to do something a little different, not just in terms of a different format, but also to bring a different form of entertainment from a golf perspective.

The European Tour said last year's inaugural GolfSixes event attracted a 42 per cent increase in new golf fans compared to regular European Tour events.


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