Englishmen Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell, both European Tour winners in 2018, will represent the home side when the innovative GolfSixes returns to Centurion Club in St Albans, near London, from May 5-6.
England are the highest ranked of the 11 qualifying teams who join defending champions Denmark and four wildcard entries to form a 16-team field packed full of European Tour winners in the second staging of the innovative six-hole competition, and you can buy tickets, starting at just £5 for children HERE
The confirmed qualified teams from around the world are: England, France, Australia, Thailand, Italy, South Korea, South Africa, USA, Spain, Scotland and Sweden.
Pepperell claimed his maiden European Tour victory by finishing on 18 under par at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in February, while Wallace won a thrilling play-off against countryman Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston to win the Hero Indian Open earlier this month. Wallace is now looking forward to teeing it up in the unique GolfSixes event for the first time.
The 27 year old said: “Playing in front of a home crowd is an exciting prospect and something I’ve always looked forward to. Last year it looked as if there were a lot of kids enjoying the whole experience, so it should be a lot of fun to play in front of so many young fans and hopefully get them excited about golf.
“I think it’s a great idea to have new and different formats like this on the European Tour, and, with the wildcard teams in the mix this year, there could be some intriguing match ups. Eddie and I have both had good starts to the year, and the chance to team up to represent England is really exciting. I’m sure we’ll have a good laugh on the course and hopefully give the home fans plenty to cheer about.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn and Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew will become the first male and female professionals to play together in a competitive match play format on the European Tour when they form the ‘Captains Team’ as one of the four wildcard entries.
An ‘England Women’s Team’ comprising Charley Hull and Georgia Hall will be joined by a ‘European Women’s Team’ of Norwegian Suzann Pettersen and England’s Mel Reid, with the final wildcard team to be confirmed shortly.
Defending champions Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjørn Olesen will return to represent Denmark in the fast-paced competition as the 16 teams go head to head for a total prize fund of €1 million with the eventual winners receiving €100,000 each.
ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who currently lies second in the Race to Dubai, will once again represent Thailand alongside eight-time European Tour winner Thongchai Jaidee.
Aphibarnrat, who will make his second appearance at the Masters Tournament next week, said: “I had a lot of fun taking part in GolfSixes alongside Thongchai last year and we’re looking forward to getting back to Centurion Club again.
“I enjoyed the team format, and it definitely seemed to be exciting for the fans too. Last year it was great to see so many kids around the course making noise and cheering on the teams, so it will be fantastic to see more of the same this year.
“We don’t get too many opportunities to play for our country as golfers, so it will be fun to team up with Thongchai again to represent Thailand. We got to the quarter finals last year, but we’ll be aiming to get our hands on the trophy this time around.”
France will be represented by 2017 KLM Open champion Romain Wattel and four-time European Tour winner Alexander Levy, whilst the last two winners of the UBS Hong Kong Open – Wade Ormsby and Sam Brazel – will compete on behalf of Australia.
Former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari will be joined by 21 year old Renato Paratore, who won his maiden title at the 2017 Nordea Masters, in the Italian team.
Three-time European Tour winner Jeunghun Wang and 2016 Shenzen International champion Soomin Lee will play on behalf of Korea in the country’s debut GolfSixes appearance, while the South African team of George Coetzee and Haydn Porteous boast six European Tour titles between them.
Julian Suri, who captured the 2017 Made in Denmark title, will play in a USA team along with 2014 Omega European Masters winner David Lipsky, while Adrian Otaegui will represent Spain alongside Pablo Larrazábal, who has come close to securing his fifth European Tour title with three top ten finishes on the European Tour so far this season.
The Scotland team will feature two European Tour winners in Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay while Sweden have seized the final automatic qualification spot, with Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren joining the field.
The 16 teams will compete over six holes in a group stage, with teams split into four groups of four, before the top two teams from each group progress to the knockout stages – the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, a third/fourth place play-off match and the final.
In the group stages, three points will be given for victory with one point awarded for a draw and the matches will be played in a greensomes match play format.
Once again the six holes will be themed, with the popular shot clock hole returning – with a penalty imposed if players take longer than 30 seconds per shot – alongside the long drive and closest to the pin holes.
The innovative six-hole competition will have a festival feel with a centrally-located Fan Zone full of entertainment for all the family.
The 15 confirmed teams are:
DENMARK: Lucas Bjerregaard, Thorbjørn Olesen
- ENGLAND: Matt Wallace, Eddie Pepperell
- FRANCE: Romain Wattel, Alexander Levy
- AUSTRALIA: Wade Ormsby, Sam Brazel
- THAILAND: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee
- ITALY: Renato Paratore, Edoardo Molinari
- SOUTH KOREA: Jeunghun Wang, Soomin Lee
- SOUTH AFRICA: George Coetzee, Haydn Porteous
- USA: Julian Suri, David Lipsky
- SPAIN: Pablo Larrazábal, Adrian Otaegui
- SCOTLAND: Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson
- SWEDEN: Alexander Björk, Joakim Lagergren
- CAPTAINS TEAM: Thomas Bjørn, Catriona Matthew
- ENGLAND WOMEN’S TEAM: Charley Hull, Georgia Hall
- EUROPEAN WOMEN’S TEAM: Suzann Pettersen, Mel Reid
- FINAL TEAM TBC
Tickets for the event, which will feature amphitheatre-style stands around tees and greens, music and pyrotechnics on the first tee and player engagement across the course, are on sale now for just £16 for adults and £5 for children HERE