Keith Pelley’s bid to revolutionise golf will see the European Tour stage a new six-hole team event in England in May that will involve music and pyrotechnics, as well as all the players being miked up so that they can interact with spectators during play.
The inaugural GolfSixes, with a prize fund of £850,000, will involve two-man teams from 16 different countries and be held at the Centurion Club, near St Albans, on 6-7 May. The teams will be split into four groups of four teams on day one, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final – and a play-off for third place – will be contested on day two.
Matches will be played in a greensomes, match-play format, with both players in a team hitting tee shots on each hole. After selecting the best tee shot, the players take alternate shots until the hole is completed. One point is awarded for each hole won, with the winner being the team with the most points after six holes.
Countries will be represented by their leading ranked and available European Tour member as of 13 March, who will then choose a team-mate. As things stand, Stephen Gallacher would be the player in that position for Scotland.
“We have said for some time that golf needs to modernise and introducing innovative new formats is a major part of achieving that aim,” said Pelley, the Tour’s chief executive. “We want to broaden the appeal of our sport to the millennial demographic and I think this format will do that, not only through the quick and exciting style of play, but also with the interactive digital experience fans will enjoy on site and the innovative television coverage people will enjoy at home.”
Weekend winners included Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, who eagled the last to claim the Maybank Championship in Malaysia, and England’s Mel Reid, who defeated Germany’s Sandra Gal on the third extra hole in a sudden-death play-off in the Oates Vic Open in Australia.
Zanotti secured his second European Tour title as Masters champion Danny Willett let a three-shot lead slip in the final round at Saujana Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, where Marc Warren, who’d held a three-shot lead after 27 holes, finished in a tie for 20th.
Kylie Henry tied for 18th, just ahead of both Carly Booth and Michele Thomson, as Reid, who is coached by Scottish-based Kevin Craggs, secured her seventh LET triumph.