European legends, female stars and the next generation of golfers will all gather at Ayla Golf Club in Jordan next year for a new tournament: the Jordan Mixed Masters, presented by Ayla.
In a first-of-its-kind event, the European Challenge Tour, Ladies European Tour and Staysure Tour will co-sanction the new individual strokeplay event, to take place from April 4-6, 2019.
The field will consist of 123 players – 40 from each Tour and one leading amateur from the men’s, ladies’ and over-50s' 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, competing for the grand prize. The leading players from the other two tours will also receive a special accolade.
The concept, which recognises the importance of equality and equal opportunity, was the vision of Ayla’s ownership, who have created a premier 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,
"The Jordan Mixed Masters, presented by Ayla is a fantastic development for the Staysure Tour, the Challenge Tour and the Ladies European Tour".
"The European Tour is leading the transformation of global golf and I commend Ayla’s vision and their determination to spearhead the concept of hosting the three Tours."
Chris White, Director of Operations at Ayla, commented, "golf is one of the only sports whereby competitors, regardless of age or gender, can compete fairly together. To see our vision come to life and have the support and collaboration of all three Tours gives us great confidence that our event will be recognised as unique in the world of golf and showcase not only the beauty of Ayla, but the great nation of Jordan."
Alain de Soultrait, Director, European Challenge Tour, said: "The introduction of a tournament involving the Challenge Tour, Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour is a landmark moment for all three tours, and playing all together will be great...The Challenge Tour is also known for growing the game of golf across the globe, and by visiting Jordan for the first time we will continue this tradition."
The announcement of the event builds on the success of the European Tour’s innovative 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 tee it up 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.
Georgia Hall, who progressed to the quarter-finals in the GolfSixes, welcomed the latest development,
"The Jordan Mixed Masters, presented by Ayla, is the next step to show that golf is a game for all. The women are looking forward to joining together to make this another fantastic week and the future is looking good with more events like this on the calendar."
Phil Golding, a four-time Staysure Tour winner and two-time victor on the Challenge Tour, said "t’s great that we’re doing things a little bit different, and this is another step after playing on a nine-hole golf course in Sharjah over the last two seasons and also having Dame Laura play with us in Denmark. I’m really looking forward to it."
Image credit: Getty Images
LPGA Major Returns to the Windy City READ MORE