The European Tour and Ladies European Tour (LET) have announced plans to launch a mixed-sex golf tournament in Sweden next year.
Major champions Henrik Stenson and Annika Sörenstam will jointly host the Scandinavian Mixed at the Bro Hoff Slot Golf Club in Stockholm (pictured) from June 11-14, 2020. The event will see 78 men and 78 women compete for one trophy and single prize fund of €1,500,000. The tournament will also offer official world ranking points for both tours, Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup points for European Tour members, and Order of Merit points for the Ladies European Tour.
The new tournament, serves the dual purpose of providing the struggling LET with a new event and re-animating an under-performing competition on the European Tour calendar. The Scandinavian Mixed takes the place of the Scandinavian Invitational men’s tournament which has failed to capture the public’s imagination.
At one stage it was rumoured the European Tour or the US-based women’s LPGA Tour could launch a takeover bid for the embattled LET which has been hindered by the cancellation of events. But European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley discounted the idea when the European Tour announced a rebrand in late September, indicating it was more likely to support the LET through mixed events of the type now launched in Sweden.
“It is not something that we would want to own and operate, but we’d like to be involved. In a perfect scenario it would play out where the LPGA was a partner and maybe took the lead based on their expertise in that that area,” he said at the time.
“We would financially support it [the LET], there is no question, and we would support it with resources and we would support it with some tournaments.”
Of the new tournament Pelley said: “Inclusivity and innovation are two of our key pillars and we are delighted to have global stars in Henrik and Annika leading the way as hosts of the Scandinavian Mixed in their home country of Sweden.
“We have been in close collaboration with the women’s game in recent years, not only on the European Tour, but also across the European Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour with events held in Northern Ireland and Jordan. This tournament is the next step for male and female golfers to compete together on one course, for one prize fund, and one trophy.”
Alexandra Armas, acting chief executive of the Ladies European Tour, added: “This is a pivotal moment for European golf. This new tournament in Sweden will be an innovative and inclusive new offering which will elevate our sport to the next level and advance gender balance, ultimately showing that golf is a game for all. Sweden has always produced a wealth of world class golfers and we look forward to having a strong field featuring the best Swedish women including major winners and those whom featured in Europe’s sensational Solheim Cup victory last month.”
Men and women professionals already compete against each other in the European Tour’s shorter format GolfSixes tournament in Cascais, the Trophée Hassan II tournament in Morocco, as well as at the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia.
A spokesperson for the European Tour said it was looking for a title partner for the Scandinavian Mixed.