Spanish star Carlota Ciganda will join the GolfSixes field at Centurion Club on May 5-6, 2018, following the withdrawal of Suzann Pettersen, who has confirmed that she is expecting her first child.
Ciganda will replace her fellow Solheim Cup player as the partner of England’s Mel Reid in the European Women’s Team, one of four wildcard teams competing in the second edition of the innovative six-hole event.
Ciganda and Reid will be joined by an England Women’s Team of Georgia Hall and Charley Hull, while Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and his Solheim Cup counterpart 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. An Ireland pairing of Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan are the final wildcard entry in the 16 team field, which also includes defending champions Denmark.
Norwegian Pettersen has reluctantly withdrawn from the field on medical advice. She said: “This is a very happy time for me and my family but my pregnancy hasn’t been the most straightforward.
“I have taken the advice of my doctor and will sadly not be able to compete in GolfSixes this year, which is a real shame as I know it would have been a lot of fun. I wish Carlota and Mel the best of luck.”
Ciganda has six professional titles, including three on the Ladies European Tour and two on the LPGA Tour. The 27 year old, who won the LET Order of Merit in her debut season in 2012, has also represented Europe three times in The Solheim Cup, partnering Reid in 2015 and 2017.
She said: “Mel and I played in The Solheim Cup together and we complement each other’s games really well. We are both aggressive long hitters and we take risks on the course, so I think our style will suit GolfSixes well.
“We are great friends and extremely passionate about the game of golf. We are looking forward to playing against the men as the European Women’s Team and showing them how good our skills are!”
Mark Casey, GolfSixes Championship Director, said: “This is a double celebration really as we pass on our congratulations and best wishes to Suzann on the impending birth of her first child, while welcoming Carlota to the GolfSixes field.
“I know that Carolta and Mel are good friends off the course and will certainly complement each other when they take to the six-hole layout at Centurion Club next week. We’re very excited to have so many world class female players competing amongst a field full of European Tour winners as the innovative GolfSixes event continues to evolve.”
Hall and Hull will take on their male counterparts Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace in an England v England clash in one of the standout matches in the GolfSixes group stage on Saturday May 5, while Ciganda and Pettersen will play Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard of defending champions Denmark.
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 – on Sunday May 6.
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.
Tickets are priced at £5 for children and £16 for adults, and are available now at europeantour.com/tickets
The Groups (full match schedule to be confirmed):
Denmark – Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjørn Olesen
Thailand – Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee
USA – Daniel Im and David Lipsky
European Women – Carlota Ciganda and Mel Reid
Australia – Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby
South Korea – Jeunghun Wang and Soomin Lee
Spain – Pablo Larrazábal and Adrian Otaegui
European Captains – Thomas Bjørn and Catriona Matthew
France – Alexander Levy and Romain Wattel
Italy – Matteo Manassero and Renato Paratore
Scotland – Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay
Ireland – Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan
England – Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace
South Africa – George Coetzee and Haydn Porteous
Sweden – Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren
England Women – Georgia Hall and Charley Hull