Battle of the Sixes: Bjorn and Matthew in first mixed team
Ryder Cup skipper Thomas Bjorn and Solheim Cup counterpart Catriona Matthew have been named as the first mixed team ever to be entered in a professional match play tournament.
Bjorn and Matthew are set to comprise one of four wild card teams competing in the second edition of the GolfSixes event at Centurion Club, St Albans, in May.
Two all-female partnerships will also be among the 16 teams: English duo Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, and fellow home player Melissa Reid alongside Norway’s Suzann Pettersen.
“I think it’s hugely important to try and break down the barriers that have existed in golf between the men’s and women’s games,” said Bjorn, who will lead Europe against the United States this year in France.
“When this opportunity arose to play as Ryder Cup captain, I thought it was only right to speak to Catriona as the Solheim Cup captain about forming a team, and we’re both really looking forward to it.”
Catriona Matthew is Europe's captain for the Solheim Cup (Source: Getty)
The innovative two-day tournament sees teams play matches in a greensomes format – both players tee off and the choose the best ball to continue playing alternately – over six holes.
Teams are drawn into four pools and play against the other teams in their group on the Saturday, with the top two pairings progressing to Sunday’s knockout stages and final.
“I was delighted when Thomas asked me to play GolfSixes,” said Matthew. “I had to move my schedule around a little bit but the moment I heard about the chance to play, I definitely wanted to be part of it.”
Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard won the inaugural staging of the tournament, which boasts a €1m prize pot, and are set to defend their title.