The first round of the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla is under way in warm conditions with a slight breeze in the city of Aqaba on the Red sea Coast this morning, where England’s Meghan MacLaren has taken the outright lead on three-under-par after six holes.
MacLaren, the recent winner of the Women’s NSW Open in Australia, teed off at 8.14am and birdied the par-5 first, par-3 second and par-4 fifth hole, playing in the company of Calum Hill from the European Challenge Tour, whom she pipped to the Pro-Am trophy on countback yesterday and Peter Fowler from the Staysure Tour.
Bryce Easton from the European Challenge Tour, Mark Wharton from the over 50s Staysure Tour and Manon Mollé from the Ladies European Tour started proceedings from the first tee, whilst Christina Gloet, James Murphy and Hannah Burke began their first rounds from the 10th.
The Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville – champion, Marianne Skarpnord, had an 8.25am tee time starting from the 10th with her fiancé Richard Green starting from the first at 8.03am.
The other love match, featuring husband and wife duo Kylie and Scott Henry, gets under way this afternoon, with Kylie playing at 13.49 from the first and Scott at 13.38 from the 10th.
Ayla Golf Club, the first and only all-grass championship golf course in Jordan, hosts the world’s first mixed open, a pioneering event where men and women go head-to-head over the same course, for a single prize purse and trophy. With a concept originating from Ayla’s leadership, the tournament sees the Ladies European Tour, Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour come together for the first time, with the intention of highlighting the shared talent, drive and ambition between the sexes.
The ground-breaking event is promoting gender equality on a global stage but is also intended to empower local women and will encompass a series of talks from inspirational Jordanians who have overcome gender barriers to succeed in their respective fields.