Aqaba, Jordan: The Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla, a pioneering new tournament engineered by the team at Ayla Golf Club, proved a big success, with competitors from all three co-sanctioning Tours concurring that the innovative mixed format could set a blueprint for the future of the game.
In a nail-biting finish to the inaugural event, which witnessed competitors from the Challenge Tour, Staysure Tour and Ladies European Tour (LET) compete alongside one another for the first time, Dutchman Daan Huizing (Challenge Tour) saw off Meghan MacLaren (LET) to claim a two-shot victory and carve his name on the Triquetra Trophy with a 16-under-par total.
Runner-up MacLaren, who had previously spoken out about the disparity between pay and coverage of the men’s and women’s Tours, demonstrated exceptional strength of character as she backed up her words with actions and highlighted the talent on the LET with consecutive rounds of seven-under-par 65, before a final round of 72.
Reflecting on the week, the Englishwomen said: “I’m disappointed, but if what I’ve achieved this week has made a small step towards shining a spotlight on the Ladies European Tour then that has to be a good thing. Massive recognition to all those who have made this happen, the event concept panned out perfectly in terms of the amount of players making the cut and I hope this is the start of bigger things for the women’s game.”
With an almost equal number of players from each co-sanctioning tour making it through to the final day’s play and the leading three players composed of one competitor from each circuit, the script couldn’t have been written better for the team at Ayla Golf Club, who were instrumental in the success of the tournament.
“It has been a truly remarkable week,” said Chris White, Director of Operations at Ayla Oasis. “The tournament has not only showcased the shared drive and passion between men and women, but also what Jordan can offer as a golf destination.”
The week, which showcased the potential and beauty of a country where golf remains in its infancy, was peppered with historic moments, including the first husband-and-wife to compete alongside one another in a professional golf tournament, and the first full-field golf tournament to see men and women go head-to-head over the same course for a single prize purse.
“We are really pleased with the great success that the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla has achieved,” said Ayla’s Chairman, Khaled Masri. “This first-of-its-kind international golf tournament has attracted many golf enthusiasts and tourists from around the globe, effectively placing Jordan on the map of major golf events internationally. We hope to maintain this trend and will continue to welcome new global and regional championships to our world-class golf course.”