In what will be a first in European golf, an equal number of men and women golfers will go head-to-head in competition when they contest the Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open in July.
While the event in Brittany in France will not see the biggest names of the game tee it up at Saint-Malo Golf Resort in Le Tronchet, some stars of the future will be in action in what is a first of its kind from July 4-7.
Previous mixed opens have featured professionals from both the mens and womens games, but never before has there been an equal field. History will be made in France when 72 men and 72 women go head-to-head in the Saint-Malo Mixed Open.
The first European event to feature an equal split of male and female players will see 72 players from the Alps Tour and 72 members of the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS) make up a field of 144.
The tournament will see the men and women tee off from different tees and play different yardages to each hole, but the leaderboard will be combined and the Saint-Malo Mixed Open played as one single strokeplay event with the male and females playing alternatively in threeballs during the opening two days.
The leading 45 players from each tour will then make the cut and progress to the weekend and chase victory in the event, which has equal prize money of €45,000.
The Saint-Malo Open follows the successful first-ever edition of the Jordan Mixed Open stage in April 2019. That event featured 40 players from each of the Challenge Tour, the European Senior Tour and the Ladies European Tour as well as three amateurs.
It was won by Challenge Tour player Dean Hazing, who prevailed by two shots from Meghan Maclaren following a final round battle with the Ladies European Tour star.
This time, the Saint-Malo Mixed Open will feature some potential future stars of the game and will break new ground in the fourth edition of the tournament.
Estelle Richard, Alps Tour Chief Executive and Operations Director, said: “We are excited by this new format for the 4th edition of the Saint-Malo Golf Open and the first-time cooperation with the LET Access Series.
“After three years as an Alps Tour event, the tournament rises to a new challenge and becomes a unique opportunity for our players to compete with the Ladies on the same course with a special set up for the occasion to ensure the best show possible.”
Di Barnard, LETAS Tour Director, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Alps Tour for the Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open. Providing an opportunity for the players from both tours to compete against each other on the same golf course will be an exciting prospect.
“The course set up will be very much taken into consideration to make the competition balanced and a thrilling test for these talented competitors.
“We have seen over the last few months the interest in mixed events and with tough competition for sports sponsorship, this unique format delivers to the highest expectations.”
Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie are among LPGA Tour stars to have played against their male counterparts in PGA Tour events, with those early footsteps perhaps pathing the way for the modern-day initiatives like Mixed Opens.
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