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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

For the Non-Olympic Contenders

The men and women who didn't make the Olympics aren't necessarily sitting out the week. After all, there's still the ISPS HANDA World Invitational.

2019 winners Stephanie Meadow and Jack Senior

The event now known as the ISPS HANDA World Invitational has gone by several names and formats since it was born in 2013 -- sometimes as an all-male event, sometimes with both men and women. The last time the ISPS HANDA World Invitational was actually called that and played in the format it will be in this week -- back in 2019 -- the champions were Stephanie Meadow and Jack Senior.

But things are a bit different this time. Although it's still played in Northern Ireland at the Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Club, this time it's a tri-sanctioned event between the LPGA, the LET and the ET. Here's a brief summary of the format from an article I found at

  • This event hosts 288 players, 144 men and 144 women, with the men's field coming from the ET while the women’s field is split equally between the LPGA and the LET.
  • The tournament will count towards the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and carry Team Europe Ryder Cup points, while the women’s tournament will count towards the Race to the CME Globe for women on the LPGA Tour, the Race to Costa del Sol on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Solheim Cup points for both Team Europe and Team USA.
  • The $3 million prize purse will be split equally between the men and the women. The tournament consists of two separate 72-hole stroke play events, one each for the men and women, and they compete at the same venues at the same time.

Yes, this is very similar to the format of the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia and somewhat similar to the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika in Sweden, although the latter had the men and women competing against each other.

In my opinion the coolest thing about this event is that the time zones mean this event slots in rather well between Olympic golf broadcasts. GC's coverage begins Thursday at 9am ET. So we have almost nonstop golf this week!

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