ETHAN PATRICK WRITES – As part of a new co-sanctioned golf series, the Asian male and female Tour and Ladies European Tour have announced the creation of two mixed-gender tournaments that will be set to take place in April of 2022. The tournaments will be held on the Waterside Course at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Thailand from April 7 to 10 and April 13 to 16. With the start of these two new tournaments comes a prize fund of $750,000 for the winner.
Each event will contain 60 players from the Asian Tour, as well as 60 players from the Ladies European Tour. Players competing in the tournaments will be eligible to earn world ranking points, specific tour points, and the chance to compete for the same purse and trophy.
The mixed-gender series tournaments are sponsored by Thai golf business, Trust Golf. According to its founder, Prin Singhanart, the new series hopes to lead to a mixed-gender world championship in the near future.
Singhanart stated, “I am always extremely keen on mixed formats as golf is the only sport allowing people of all ages and genders to play together. I would like to provide a pathway for Thai talents both male and female.”
Prin Singhanart and Trust Golf not only believe that the mixed-gender series can progress the game of golf, but make steps towards strengthening international relations between multiple countries. Singanart went on to say, “I believe that sport has always been a soft power diplomacy approach to international relations. Through the attraction of its unique culture, Thailand has such potential to boost that in sports, especially with our strength in Thai boxing and golf. This can contribute to future trade and investment by strengthening trust and awareness of our country’s capabilities.”
Both the Asian Tour and the Ladies European Tour are excited for the opportunity that lies ahead, with both chief executives showing their passion for the upcoming tournaments. Asian Tour chief executive Cho Minn Thant said: “The Asian tour is extremely excited to add a new format of play to our tournament schedule… it is also an exciting opportunity to collaborate with the Ladies European Tour for the first time and pay our maiden visit to the highly regarded Siam Country Club.” The Ladies European Tour executive, Alexandra Armas, added: “These new tournaments are important steps in the continued growth of the Ladies European Tour as we offer 33 playing opportunities to our members in 2022 and we look forward to working together with Trust Golf and the Asian Tour at Siam Country Club in April.”
The mixed-gender tournament in Thailand is following the footsteps of a previous mixed-gender tournament held in Australia, where Hanna Green became the first woman to win a professional mixed-gender golf event. These tournaments are a huge step forward in professional golf as we see women finally getting the recognition, prize money, and sponsorships so many professional men’s golfers receive. Let’s hope we can expect to see more mixed-gender tournaments throughout different professional golf tours in the near future.