It started with the ISPS Handa Vic Open, with its mixed gender format and equal prizemoney.
Now, everyone wants to copy and build on the successful format of one of the world’s fastest-growing tournaments.
The European Tour and the Ladies European Tour have announced a new format for the Scandinavian Masters for 2020 with a mixed men’s and women’s field, hosted by Swedish icons Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson.
For the first time, men and women will compete against each other for the same trophy in a 72-hole, strokeplay tournament with world ranking points and order-of-merit listings at stake, known as the Scandinavian Mixed. It will be worth 1.5 million Euros and will be played at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm, Sweden.
“I’m extremely excited to host the Scandinavian Mixed alongside Annika, one of the best golfers the world has seen,” Stenson said. “To have men and women competing alongside one another showcases what is great about our game.
“The European Tour has been leading the way in terms of innovative formats, and I believe this is certainly one that can be part of the way golf is played in the future.”
Stenson is planning on playing in the event. Sorenstam, who has retired from tournament play, will participate in pro-am events.
“This mixed tournament is another way to bring our game to the younger generation in Sweden and for those watching around the world,” Sorenstam said.
The pair are committed to hosting duties for three years.
The Vic Open was first played as a mixed event at Spring Valley and Woodlands in 2012, and has grown significantly since it moved to 13th Beach in 2013.
Last year the total prize pool was $3 million — $1.5 million to each gender – and the men’s tournament was co-sanctioned by the European Tour, while the women’s event was part of the LPGA Tour.
Europe has been looking to move into this area for some time, with not only the Vic Open in 2019 but the Jordan Mixed Open on the secondary tours this year, and a team event featuring both male and female teams as well as mixed teams, as well as the Trophee Hassan event.