Aussie veteran Peter Fowler has claimed a place inside the top-10 of a leaderboard that may well have major ramifications on the future of professional golf.
The Jordan Mixed Open at Ayla Golf Club brought together players from the European Challenge Tour, seniors Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour, where the final round of the 54-hole event scripted better than tournament officials could have ever imagined.
England’s Meghan McLaren led the field through 36 holes courtesy of matching rounds of 7-under 65 but in the back nine of the third round found herself locked in a tense battle with Dutch Challenge Tour player Daan Huizing.
With players from each of the three tours playing from different tees to preserve the integrity of the challenge presented by the golf course, Huizing and McLaren tied at 14-under par with six holes to play.
Huizing’s three birdies down the stretch earned him a historic two-shot win in the first full-field mixed professional tournament.
“I think it’s a great initiative,” said an elated Huizing. “It was great fun playing in a final group with a Challenge Tour player, a senior tour player and a lady player. It was a great battle.
“It’s a different vibe and very special to be the first winner and I hope it’s something that can be continued in the future.”
Bitterly disappointed not to go wire-to-wire, McLaren was able to console herself in the fact that she figured so prominently in such a significant tournament for golf as a whole.
“It was a great concept but none of us really knew how it would pan out,” McLaren said.
“The way the scores panned out throughout the week showed that it absolutely can work with the right thought process and course set-up if people do the research.
“Female golfers have done ourselves proud this week and it’s been a great environment to be in with all three tours.
“It’s been an honour to be here and it was a great concept and one that I hope can catch on in the future.”
A final round of 5-under 67 moved Fowler up to a tie for seventh to be the best of the Aussies and second of the senior contingent behind Jose Coceres, Richard Green finishing one shot behind fiancée Marianne Skarpnord in a tie for 30th.
Glenn Joyner was the only other Australian in the field, ending the week at even par and tied for 54th.
Jordan Mixed Open
Ayla Golf Club, Aqaba, Jordan
T7 Peter Fowler 68-71-67—206 €11,109
T30 Richard Green 73-70-69—212 €2,813
T54 Glenn Joyner 70-73-73—216 €1,165
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