By Richard Williamson
TWO North West golfers will be chasing international honours in one of golf’s most innovative events this week.
The European Tour’s GolfSixes brings together 16 teams of two players to compete in the ground-breaking six-hole format.
This week’s event takes place at the Oitavos Dunes links in Cascais, Portugal, with Ireland launching their title defence on Friday.
Bromborough’s Paul Waring will be representing England with Tom Lewis while Florentyna Parker (Royal Birkdale) will be one half of the all-female team to represent Team England Women, alongside Meghan MacLaren.
Waring and Lewis are both Sixes rookies, but the Wirral golfer picked up his first victory on the European Tour in 2018, while Lewis has two European Tour victories to his name, which both came at the Portugal Masters.
“It’s always great to represent your country and it will be fun to take part in a different kind of event,” said Waring, who raced through the field on the final day at the British Masters to finish in a share of sixth at Hillside Golf Club. “It is good to see golf trying new things to attract new people to the sport.”
Solheim Cup star Parker – a three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour – will be looking to build on England Women’s success in 2018, where Charley Hull and Georgia Hall were defeated in the quarter finals by eventual winners Ireland.
It is certainly an event that pushes the boundaries of traditional golf. For the first time, European Tour players will be permitted to wear shorts in competitive rounds and to use distance measuring devices in competition.
But it is the setting of the final hole that will be hard to match anywhere in the world.
The tee box will sit directly over a swimming pool which is surrounded by an open lounging area for VIPs and fans. A DJ will also be blasting out music to ramp up the atmosphere!
Teams are split into four groups, with the top two progressing after the round robin. England face Scotland, India and Portugal while the Women’s team take on Ireland, Sweden and Thailand.
Denmark won the inaugural event in 2017.
Photo Caption: Paul Waring.