Meghan MacLaren hoping to make her mark in historic Jordan Mixed Open
Men, women and seniors will compete in the same tournament from different tees.
Meghan MacLaren believes the inaugural Jordan Mixed Open is a “fantastic opportunity” to showcase the talent in the women’s game to a wider audience.
MacLaren is one of 40 players from the Ladies European Tour who will compete against Challenge Tour and Staysure (Seniors) Tour players for a prize fund of £300,000 at Ayla Golf Club.
Players will tackle the Greg Norman-designed course from different tees depending on the tour they compete on – the men of the Challenge Tour will face a 7,100-yard course in the 54-hole event, the over-50s from the Staysure Tour will cover 6,601 yards and LET players 6,139 yards.
The first prize of £46,000 compares favourably to the £12,000 MacLaren won recently for making a successful title defence in the Women’s NSW Open, but the 24-year-old is also focused on the bigger picture.
“I think showcasing what we have to offer is probably the most important thing,” MacLaren told Press Association Sport.
“I’m not going to pretend it wouldn’t be a bonus if a woman walks away with the win because I think that would make a lot of people take notice, but I don’t think any of us are going to be trying extra hard because we all know what we’re capable of and it’s just an opportunity to take what we do week in, week out to a bigger audience this time.
“This is something that’s never been done before so hopefully the media will pay a bit of attention because it definitely deserves it and it could be the kickstart for more events like this.
.@meg_maclaren on #JordanMixedOpen— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) March 31, 2019
🗣”There’s a lot male golfers can learn from how we play the game & likewise there’s a lot we can learn from both the experience of the men on @StaysureTour & the aggressive, no-fear confidence of some of the younger guys on @Challenge_Tour.” pic.twitter.com/DDlsxb7FO6
“It is a fantastic opportunity for us and huge credit to those who made it happen. We need as much attention and publicity as possible.”
One of those responsible for making it happen is MacLaren’s father David, who is the head of the Staysure Tour.
“I don’t know if he can take all the credit but I do know he was quite involved in it,” said MacLaren, who secured the winning point in the 2016 Curtis Cup. “I know it’s something he’s had on his radar for a while.
“There’s been a few events doing a similar thing over the past couple of years so I think the concept has been growing kind of under the radar a little bit.
Greg Norman, course designer at @AylaOasis, speaking about the #JordanMixedOpen:— Staysure Tour (@StaysureTour) April 1, 2019
🗣️ "Any initiative that sets to break down the barriers that prevent people from taking up the sport and that looks to change the narrative regarding women and girls in sport must be encouraged."
“I suppose GolfSixes might be the closest in that you had men and women in the same actual tournament, but this one there is one player from each tour in each group and I think it will be really interesting to see how it pans out.
“They have put a lot of thought into the course set up because that’s the biggest issue for making this format work, so it will be interesting to see if the scores are similar or how each tour plays the course in different ways and ends up at a similar score.
“On paper the yardage for us is a normal tournament and they’ve tried to make it as fair as possible.”