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Golf: ‘Revolutionary’ new format to debut in Perth

A "revolutionary" new golf format was unveiled Thursday involving a matchplay finish after three strokeplay rounds in a bid to broaden the sport's appeal, with its debut set for Perth next year.

The PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour initiative, called the World Super 6 Perth, will feature 54 holes of traditional stroke play.

The top 24 players will then battle it out in a series of knockout, matchplay shootouts played over six holes on the final day in a change that organisers hope will be big hit.

“This is an exciting day for international golf as we launch the World Super 6 Perth, a golf tournament which is set to change the way people view golf,” said PGA Tour of Australasia chief Brian Thorburn.

“Cricket has Twenty20, netball has Fast5, rugby union has rugby sevens and now golf has the World Super 6 Perth.” 

Cricket, netball and rugby have all benefited immensely from introducing shortened, more exciting versions of their game. Golf’s viewership and participation have come under threat in recent years.

“The World Super 6 Perth is a revolutionary golf tournament designed to retain the traditions of the game whilst appealing to a broader market,” a statement from the organisers said.

Under the new format, a regular cut will fall after 36 holes before the field is further reduced to 24 after three rounds, with any ties for 24th place decided by a play-off. 

The remaining players take part in the six-hole shootout, with tied matches settled on a 90-metre, purpose-built knockout hole which shares the 18th green.

The knockout hole will be played once and if there is still no winner, competitors will return for a one-shot decider, where the ball nearest the pin wins.

The World Super 6 Perth, which replaces the Perth International, will be played at Lake Karrinyup Country Club from February 16-19 as part of the 2017 European Tour Race to Dubai and the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.

European Tour chief Keith Pelley has been a leading proponent for golf’s need to adapt to changing times.

“We are thrilled to participate in this because, at the European Tour, we believe that golf needs to look at new and innovative formats,” Pelley said. 

mp/bp/th

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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