The England women’s team of Georgia Hall and Charley Hall say the pressure will be ‘100 per cent’ on the English men when they play against Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace at 12:04 in the first session of the GolfSixes at Centurion Golf Club tomorrow.
When it comes to the World Rankings, no other team this week even comes close to the Englishwomen. Hall won the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit and finished in the top ten in two of her last three Major Championships to rise to Number 35 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Hull’s tie for third at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship last week moved her up to 24th in the world and this high-class pair of Solheim Cup team-mates are sure to have the backing of a vocal English crowd.
However, only one team in this year’s GolfSixes has two 2018 winners in it and that is the men representing the home nation. Matt Wallace won the Hero Indian Open for his second European Tour title and the serial winner from the Alps Tour declared himself gutted after he just failed to get over the line at last week’s Volvo China Open. Pepperell’s journey to the winner’s circle was more complicated as he lost his card in 2016 but fought back to claim the Commercial bank Qatar Masters earlier this season. Pepperell’s easy going humour has made him one of the most popular figures on the European Tour and England are sure to have packed galleries following them.
Pepperell attempted to start the banter on Friday when he tweeted: “I’m gonna show the ladies this weekend what a Fat EP can do.” Hall prefers to let her golf do the talking, but Hall called her “silent but deadly.”
Hall said: “We’re in England and it’s the men’s European Tour.”
Hull, meanwhile, will feel right at home. “I only played boys when I was younger. So, once I started playing with girls, it felt a bit strange. It’s quite good to be back. I enjoy playing with the lads.”
Television presenter Vernon Kay, who played in the Pro-Am on Friday morning, felt that the women have a genuine chance against the men.
He said: “I’d definitely like to see more mixed tournaments because I think it shows how good the women are. In this day and age, when equality is key, I think if you put women up against the men, although they are playing a little forward, it will show how competitive they are.
“When Michelle Wie joined the men’s tour, we know it didn’t work for various reasons, but I think now it’s more open and free, I think it will definitely work.”
The England women will play South African pair George Coetzee and Haydn Porteous in the second session on Saturday and Swedish duo Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren in the third. The top two teams in each group will progress to Sunday’s knock-out stage.