Players from more than 30 countries have already entered a new professional tournament that has been tipped to become a game-changer for golf by Niall Horan.
The ISPS HANDA World Invitational, which is being staged in Northern Ireland, will see men and women compete alongside each other and for equal prize money of $500,000.
The first of its kind in Europe, the tournament will take place at two venues, Galgorm Golf Resort and Massereene Golf Club, with organisers expecting it to attract even more interest than the NI Open, which was the best-attended event on the Challenge Tour in recent years before being turned into this exciting new tournament.
“We have created the opportunity for women to perform on the same stage as men and compete for the same prize fund,” said Horan, better known as a member of pop band One Direction but involved in this event as owner of Modest! Golf, the tournament promoters.
“I am delighted so many women professionals from around the world have already seized the opportunity to compete in the new World Invitational.
“We wanted to create something different, something unique, and with the help of ISPS HANDA we’ve achieved that through the World Invitational.
“Our company ethos is simple; we are trying to grow the game and to look out for the next generation of player.
“We achieved that in the men’s game with the hugely successful NI Open and now we have provided a wonderful opportunity for women professionals to compete alongside the men.
“With such an exciting new format and a packed schedule of events planned for tournament week, including live music acts and more, we continue to help grow the game and attract new audiences. I’ve said it before, but I actually think this is a bigger day for European golf than we think.”
l Three players – James Steven (Drumpellier), Myles Cunningham (Gullane) and Thomas Higson (Gleneagles) – are tied for the lead after the first round of the Scottish Young Professionals Championship.
The trio set the pace with matching five-under-par 66s at West Lothian, with Steven O’Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) the next best on 68.