PARIS: Top female players will face their male counterparts for the first time on the European Tour in May’s GolfSixes team event, while Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will partner Solheim Cup skipper Catriona Matthew.
The second edition of the six-hole matchplay event at St Albans in England — the inaugural tournament last year was won by Denmark — will also see Georgia Hall and Charley Hull compete for England women and Melissa Reid partner Norwegian Suzann Pettersen for a European women’s outfit.
The European Tour announced the new wildcard additions to the competition on Monday, with Bjorn and Matthew to join forces as a ‘Captain’s Team’.
“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,” said Dane Bjorn.
“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.”
Bjorn will lead Europe as they attempt to regain the Ryder Cup from the United States in Paris in September, while Scotland’s Matthew will captain the Europeans in the 2019 Solheim Cup.
“The fact it is something different for golf is great,” said the 2009 Women’s British Open champion. “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.”
Hull and Hall, both ranked inside the world’s top 30, fancy their chances of scooping the winners’ prize of 100,000 euros ($123,000) each.
“It sounds like a great event and it will be nice to play in a team event and also to play with Charley again — I think we will have a good chance,” said 21-year-old Hall, who finished tied-third at last year’s Women’s British Open.
Hull added: “I’m looking forward to teaming up with Georgia and seeing us play against the men will be exciting and something new for the spectators.”
Reigning champions Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjorn Olesen will again be competing for Denmark, alongside 11 other men’s national sides.