New World Invitational 'can deliver something special'

News & Tour

Men and women will compete for the same prize money as the Northern Ireland Open is transformed into a mixed event. Joe Hughes has the lowdown

The Northern Ireland Open on the Challenge Tour will have a new look this year – with men’s and women’s events running alongside each other at the event that will now be called the World Invitational.

Both men and women will compete for the same prize money of £192,000 when the tournament takes place in August following the Women’s British Open.

The event has been transformed by Modest! Golf, the management company set up by pop star Niall Horan, and while the men’s event will run as part of the Challenge Tour schedule, the women’s event will be an invitational, with invitees from the LPGA, Ladies European, Asian and Australian Tours all expected.

It follows the success of the Jordan Mixed Open and Vic Open.

World Invitational: Where will it be held?

One round will be held at Massereene Golf Club, with the others held at Galgorm Spa & Golf resort, which has been the host of the Northern Ireland Open since its inception in 2010.

World Invitational: When is it?

The landmark tournament is due to be played from August 15-18. It is hoped that its position in the calendar, shortly following the Ladies Scottish Open and Women’s British Open, will attract a strong field for the women’s event.

World Invitational: What is the format?

In total, 300 players will tee it up in Northern Ireland, a field which eclipses those that regularly occur on any of the tours involved.

There will be two cuts – one after 36 holes and one after 54 – with the top 60 in each field making it through to the weekend, and the top 35 going on to make the final day.

World Invitational: What are they saying?

Niall Horan of Modest! Golf:

The new format can deliver something very special.

“We got into golf with the aim to help and develop the next generation of players. By supporting a tournament like this exciting new World Invitational, we are going to bring that goal to fruition.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley:

Our core values are innovation and inclusivity. This new tournament fits perfectly.

“We are so pleased to have another innovative format on the Challenge Tour’s schedule following the success of the Jordan Mixed Open earlier this year.

“It’s fantastic to see these pioneering events becoming more common on the global golfing calendar and we hope they continue to grow with the support of sponsors and broadcasters.

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