The European Tour’s innovative GolfSixes tournament will break the mold once again this May in England.
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn and European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew will team in the tournament at Centurion Club, with Matthew one of five women who will compete alongside the men in the event comprising six-hole matches, the European Tour announced Tuesday.
The so-called “Captains Team” is one of four wild-card selections into this year’s event. The others will be the “England Women’s Team” of Georgia Hall and Charley Hull, the “European Women’s Team” of Mel Reid and Suzann Pettersen, and one more team to be named later.
“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,” Bjorn said in a release announcing the pairings.
Six-hole matches are all the rage on the European Tour. The recent ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth event in Australia used the format following 54 holes of stroke play, and the GolfSixes event will feature 16 two-person teams battling over two days.
“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,” Matthew said in the release. “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. All tours are trying to think of ways to make golf different and encourage a new and younger audience and so I think this whole concept is very exciting.”
Expect more six-hole match play in the future. On the Wednesday of Ryder Cup week, members of the junior Ryder Cup teams will play a showcase GolfSixes event.