A new mixed tournament in which men and women play the same course and for one prize is to debut in 2020 with Swedes Henrik Stenson and Annika Sörenstam teaming as hosts of the Scandinavian Mixed.
While professional mixed events are not unusual having seen a recent upsurge, the Scandinavian Mixed at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm will be the first time professional men and women have competed directly against one another from the same tees and for one winners’ cheque out of a €1,500,000 prize fund.
The event, which will be co-hosted by the European Tour and Ladies European Tour, will see 78 men and 78 women go head to head in Stockholm between June 11-14 and it is sure the receive plenty of media interest as the golfing hierarchy look to achieve more inclusivity between the genders.
Open champion Stenson and Sörenstam, one of the greats of the women’s game, have put their names to the Scandinavian Mixed as they also look to highlight golf in their homeland in Sweden. Stenson will play in the 2020 event, while the retired Sörenstam has committed to featuring in the Pro-Am.
“I’m extremely excited to host the Scandinavian Mixed alongside Annika, one of the best golfers the world has seen, and to have men and women competing alongside one another showcases what is great about our game,” said Stenson.
“The European Tour has been leading the way in terms of innovative formats and I believe this is certainly one that can be part of the way golf is played in the future.
“Making our game accessible to everyone is something I am extremely passionate about having worked with Fanny Sunesson for a number of years hosting the Stenson Sunesson Junior Challenge in Barsebäck, as well as promoting Paragolf in Sweden through my Foundation, so I am delighted to have this new event for both male and female professional golfers in Sweden.”
Sörenstam added: “I’m delighted to host the Scandinavian Mixed alongside Henrik in Sweden for the next three years. Bringing women and men together in a combined tournament is exciting for fans in Sweden and for the global game as we continue to showcase golf is a game for everyone.
“Since retiring from competitive golf in 2008, I have dedicated a lot of my time to the ANNIKA Foundation, which hosts seven global events for junior girls each year including the ANNIKA Invitational Europe. This mixed tournament is another way to bring our game to the younger generation in Sweden and for those watching around the world.”
The Scandinavian Mixed will be on the calendar for three years will 2021 and 2022 tournaments pencilled in, and each will include Official World Ranking points for both Tours, Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup points for European Tour members, and Order of Merit points for the Ladies European Tour.
Golf Sixes has already showcased that male and female professionals can compete together, but not yet against one another for the same single prize. The Trophée Hassan II tournament in Morocco and ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia are other mixed events, but the men and women involved play from different tees and for separate titles.