THE EUROPEAN TOUR SHAKES UP ITS FORMAT THIS WEEK
Many sports have tried to liven up their format in recent years, the most successful being cricket’s Twenty20 format which has revolutionised the game. But can golf find something new and if so, is it really needed?
The Australasian and European Tours have joined forces to launch their new version of the game when the inaugural World Super 6 Perth takes place this week.
The format will be stroke play for the first 54 holes with the usual 36-hole cut but then another third day cut when the top 24 players take their places in the final day shootout. This will take the format of six-hole competition with any matches tied being decided by playing the new Knockout Hole – a purpose-built 100-yard hole which has been constructed at Lake Karrinyup, with a new tee placed adjacent to the 18th fairway and utilising the 18th green.
A huge proponent for golf’s need to adapt and find a shortened format, Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, is excited to see the World Super 6 Perth make its debut in 2017.
Former Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen, (above) as well as current U.S. Amateur Champion, Australian Curtis Luck are part of the field.
“This initiative was something that we spoke about at great length to our Tournament Committee, led by Chairman Thomas Bjørn” Pelley said. “We are thrilled to participate in this because, at the European Tour, we believe that golf needs to look at new and innovative formats.”
Whilst some will immediately file this under the category of a gimmick, the final day format is aimed at attracting a larger television audience. The only problem with match play golf is that the favourites, or in this case, overnight leaders, can quickly be eliminated leading to a somewhat sub-par final. Any player with a three-shot lead after 54 holes in Perth is going to be pretty disappointed to be starting from scratch again on the final day.
Six years ago, Power Play Golf was seen as the “new-thing” in world golf with two flags being placed on some greens, more points being available for taking on the more difficult hole location. That idea died a pretty quick death and only time will tell if the World Super 6 follows it into the same hole of golfing oblivion.