Revolution as Super 6 sexes up the game of golf
Perth (Australia) (AFP)
A revolutionary event in Australia this week will see 24 players go head-to-head in a six-hole final-day matchplay showdown as the sport tries to attract a new generation of followers.
The World Super 6 Perth is promising a final day of rapid-fire thrills and spills, with tied matches going to a specially constructed 90-metre "shootout hole".
Major winner Louis Oosthuizen is among those dipping their toes into the new event in Perth, which begins Thursday with the first of three rounds of strokeplay.
The European Tour is trying to sex up golf for a 21st century audience and hopes that the Perth event and the recently announced GolfSixes over two days in England in May -- which will feature DJs, pyrotechnics and six-hole matchplay -- will attract a new generation to the game.
“We want to broaden the appeal of our sport to the millennial demographic and I think this format will do that," European Tour CEO Keith Pelley, who is a driving force behind the new format, said this week.
"Not only through the quick and exciting style of play, but also with the interactive digital experience fans will enjoy on site and the innovative television coverage people will enjoy at home," added Pelley.
PGA Tour of Australasia chief Brian Thorburn was excited about the new short-form final day.
"Cricket has Twenty20, netball has Fast5, rugby union has rugby sevens and now golf has the World Super 6 Perth," said Thorburn.
Two cuts after 36 and 54 holes will whittle the field down to the top 24 who will go into battle on Sunday.
The top eight will get byes into the second-round of six-hole matches, which should take around an hour each to complete rather than the four to five hours of a an 18-hole round.
If any players remain tied after playing the "shootout hole" they will go back to the tee and fire again with nearest the pin winning.
“We have said for some time that golf needs to modernise and introducing innovative new formats is a major part of achieving that aim," said Pelley.
World Super 6 Perth is headlined by 2010 British Open champion Oosthuizen of South Africa, Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Alexander Noren of Sweden and is co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia.
"I think it’s great that we try new things and I think it’s going to be exciting for the crowds and nice for the TV viewers too," Noren, a four-time winner on the European Tour last year, said Tuesday.
"I think anything where the crowd experiences a new way for us to play the game is good. I think we should work out more ways to do this kind of thing."
© 2017 AFP