Foshan, China: The European Challenge Tour has continued its history of supporting emerging talents by launching an innovative new format at this week’s Foshan Open, inviting local children to take part in a Junior Pro-Am.
Breaking new ground in China, Europe’s top developmental Tour invited boys and girls of all ages to take part in a nine-hole tournament at Foshan Golf Club, where two juniors were paired with a Challenge Tour player competing in this week’s tournament.
With the emphasis placed firmly on fun and variety, the event was structured in a “3-three-III” format. Holes one to three were a ‘best ball’ format, with all players playing their own ball, while holes four to six were played as ‘step-a-side scramble’ – all players tee off, the best tee shot is chosen before the two players whose shot wasn’t chosen play for the rest of the hole.
During the final three holes, the format was then switched again to an ‘alternate shot’ system.
Through these holes the professional teed-off on hole seven, the oldest junior started on hole eight, before the youngest junior kicked things off on hole nine – the final hole of the tournament.
Each of the 10 teams taking part were joined by a walking scorer, who ensured that the format was followed correctly, as professional players teed it up with juniors aged as young as seven.
“We feel this is a great initiative, as it is the role of the Challenge Tour to help promote the game amongst the younger generation,” said Alain de Soultrait, Director, European Challenge Tour.
“It is important that young players all around the world are encouraged to play our great game, and I am thrilled that our players and the children had so much fun during this event.”