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Jordan to host innovative mixed gender golf tournament

Golf bodies the European Challenge Tour, Ladies European Tour (LET) and Staysure Tour have teamed up to launch a new mixed gender tournament that will be hosted in Jordan.
 
The Jordan Mixed Masters, presented by Ayla, will debut on April 4-6, 2019. The first-of-its-kind event will be held at Ayala Golf Club on the Gulf of Aqaba. The tournament will see female stars from the LET compete against men’s legends and rising stars from the Staysure Tour and Challenge Tour, both of which are organised by the European Tour.
 
The field will consist of 123 players – 40 from each Tour and one leading amateur from the men’s, ladies’ and over-50’s games – who will compete against each other in a single, mixed field. Members from the three Tours will tee off from different yardages, but will compete in a single competition. 
 
The three-day event will see the field cut to 60 for the final day’s play, who will then compete for the grand prize. The leading players from the other two tours will also receive a special accolade.
 
The concept is the vision of Ayla Oasis Development’s ownership, who have created a golf and leisure development close to the Red Sea city of Aqaba and on the shores of Jordan’s southern coastline.
 
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “This unique event goes a step further, bringing together the stars of three Tours for a truly innovative tournament. There seems to be an appetite in golf for mixed events right now, and this is another opportunity to deliver another entertaining yet credible format.”
 
Mark Lichtenhein, chairman of the Ladies European Tour, added: “The popularity of recent collaborative events such as the Oates Vic Open, Lalla Meryem Cup and GolfSixes have demonstrated that there is a huge public appetite to see men and women playing alongside each other in different formats.
 
“This unique tournament will be the first of its kind, where men and women will compete individually, for the same trophy. The event will give our players a tremendous opportunity to showcase their talents in a level playing field for both genders.”
 
The announcement of the event builds on the European Tour’s GolfSixes tournament, a 16-team, six-hole event, which included some of Europe’s top female stars and a mixed pairing of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn and his Solheim Cup counterpart Catriona Matthew.
 
Male and female players will also compete in August in the new European Golf Team Championships, part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, which will include a mixed foursome strokeplay event.
 
Earlier this month, Dame Laura Davies made history as the first female competitor at a Staysure Tour event at the inaugural Shipco Masters promoted by Simon’s Golf in Denmark.