Men and women have played competitive golf against each other before, but not like this.
On Monday, the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour announced a groundbreaking new joint tournament called the Scandinavian Mixed. Men and women will compete side-by-side on the same course for the same prize money and the same trophy.
The event will take place in June 2020 in Sweden, and two of the country’s most famous and successful golfers, Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson, will host. In fact, the formal name of the tournament will be the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika. The prize pot will be 1.5 million euros (just over $1.6 million) for all competitors, and the tournament will offer Official World Ranking points and Ryder Cup points for both men and women.
Stenson and Sorenstam announced the Scandinavian Mixed news together on Monday, and highlighted their joint commitment to making golf everybody’s game.
“I’m extremely excited to host the Scandinavian Mixed alongside Annika, one of the best golfers the world has seen, and to have men and women competing alongside one another showcases what is great about our game,” said Stenson, who has committed to playing in the first three years of the tournament.
“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. Making our game accessible to everyone is something I am extremely passionate about having worked with Fanny Sunesson for a number of years hosting the Stenson Sunesson Junior Challenge, as well as promoting Paragolf in Sweden through the Henrik Stenson Foundation, so I am delighted to have this new event for both male and female professional golfers in Sweden.”
Since she retired in 2008, Sorenstam has worked to make golf more accessible to girls and young women, and is also excited to be involved in such an innovative event.
“I’m delighted to host the Scandinavian Mixed alongside Henrik in Sweden for the next three years,” Sorenstam said. “Bringing women and men together in a combined tournament is exciting for fans in Sweden and for the global game as we continue to showcase golf is a game for everyone.”
Men and women have played together more frequently in recent years, but in a press release the European Tour said that this event is the first of its kind. It’s co-sanctioned by both the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour, and will offer points for those who compete. It’s an event where men and women are truly on the same playing field, competing against each other on the basis of pure skill and not separated by gender.
More from Yahoo Sports: