Four years ago Richard Green and fiancé Marianne Skarpnord claimed the unique honour of winning concurrent Vic Opens at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links; this week for the first time in golf history they will go head-to-head.
Bringing together 123 players from the European Challenge Tour, Staysure seniors tour and the Ladies European Tour, the Jordan Mixed Open will showcase groups with a player from each of the three tours all vying for the one trophy, an initiative never tried previously in professional golf.
The ISPS HANDA Vic Open drew worldwide acclaim in February for running a men’s and women’s tournament concurrently at the same venue, this next step by the European Tour a further progression in showcasing both genders at the one event.
A stroke play event over 54 holes, players from the three tours will play from their own respective tee markers.
The course will play 7,100 yards for Challenge Tour players, 6,601 yards for the Staysure Tour players and 6,139 yards for the Ladies European Tour representatives, officials going to great lengths to ensure the challenges of the course are applied evenly across the field.
“Whilst lots of work has been put into the theoretical side of this – analysing average distance for each group of competitors with every club in the bag, both with carry and all-in yardages – we recognise that this is only theory, and cannot easily be relied upon in practice,” said Simon Higginbottom, Tournament Director of the Jordan Mixed Open.
“Our hope is that the firm ground conditions will mean that one, two and three shot holes play that way for every player, and when appropriate ask players to weigh the risks of attempting a hole in less than regulation.
“Our aim is that if a fairway bunker or similar obstacle is in play for a Ladies European Tour player, it will also be in play for the Staysure and Challenge Tour players.”
Green and Skarpnord are one of two couples in the field along with Scottish husband and wife Scott and Kylie Henry.
Although they have not been paired together for the opening round, they could well find themselves fighting it out alongside each other in the final round.
The other Aussies in the field this week are Staysure Tour regulars Peter Fowler and Glenn Joyner.
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