The European Tour broke new ground at The Centurion Golf Club (St Albans, London) with 16 national teams of two starting the weekend and battling it out first in a group stage and then a knockout over six holes in greensome match-plays for the first GolfSixes tournament, brainchild of Keith Pelley, European Tour’s supremo. Entrance music, pyrotechnics and a sprinkling of celebrity gave the event a whole new feel with Denmark winning it over Australia in the final.
Victories over France and Italy got Denmark to the final against Australia, with Italy facing Scotland for the 3rd place. There was drama in this game as Scotland won a nearest the pin contest at the second attempt on the play-off hole to beat Italy just by some three inches….
After winning the 2016 ISPS Handa World Cup with Søren Kjeldsen, Thorbjørn Olesen appears to appreciate team events, winning this one too along with Lucas Bjerregaard, both players pocketing some £110’000 each.
“Six holes is very intense match play”, said Thorbjørn . “Every shot really counts. If you get behind early on, it’s really tough. We managed to get it around a couple of times when we were down, but like Lucas said, it’s been so much fun. We definitely both very much enjoyed it even being timed on every shot. We were very relaxed focusing on our own game, not making it too complicated. I think we did that very well”.
“It feels really good”, added Lucas. “I think it’s definitely got the crowds’ attention. I am really happy to see how many kids came out these last couple of days having fun . Hopefully the Sixes will get some of them into golf . I wouldn’t mind a few events a year like this, especially if I have Thorbjørn as a partner.
I could see it really taking off, no doubt. You could do it in many different ways. You could do a two‑man team. You could do it individual. I think the fact that it only takes some 70 minutes to play, it could make for good TV and people are not out here for necessarily seven hours to watch a round of golf.”
Although out of the last stage, Richie Ramsay (SCO) summarized the thoughts of all the players: “It’s been great. It’s a really good format. A lot of young kids were out watching. Hopefully they’ll say to their mum and dad – we want to go out there and try golf and see what it’s like. I think it’s something for the future we can build on.” ETC/PPH