Niall Horan’s golf management company involved as European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour join forces in Northern Ireland this July for the ISPS Handa World Invitational; Men and women compete on same courses for equal prize money
By Ali Stafford
The ISPS Handa World Invitational, a unique mixed golf event where men and women play for the same prize money, has been added to the European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour schedules for 2021.
Presented by Modest! Golf, Niall Horan’s golf management company, the innovative tournament sees men and women get the chance to compete on the same courses and evenly split the $2.35 million purse.
Galgorm in Northern Ireland hosts the competition from July 29-August 1 across two venues, with Massereene Golf Club being used over the first two days and Galgorm Castle Golf Club for all four rounds.
The tournament’s new elevated status sees it become the first Northern Hemisphere event to be tri-sanctioned by the three Tours, having featured on the European Challenge Tour for its inaugural edition in 2019 and then being cancelled last year due to Covid-19.
“This is a key moment for professional golf in this part of the world,” Horan said. “With the help of ISPS Handa along with both the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and European Tour we have been able to take the ISPS Handa World Invitational to a new level, which will without doubt reach new audiences around the world.
“The message behind the tournament perfectly aligns with Modest! Golf’s ethos of providing opportunities for all and ensuring golf is a game for everyone. These are vital messages which we plan to further develop with The R&A having recently announced our partnership with them.”
The tournament will count towards the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings and carry Team Europe Ryder Cup points, with the event the latest addition in the European Tour’s 2021 UK Swing.
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “We are excited to once again work alongside ISPS Handa and Modest! Golf Management, both of whom share our vision of driving golf further through innovation and inclusivity.
“Galgorm Castle was a hugely popular addition to our Race to Dubai schedule in 2020 and we are all looking forward to returning there.”
The women’s tournament will offer Solheim Cup points for both Team Europe and Team USA, with the event counting towards both the Race to the CME Globe standings on the LPGA Tour and the Race to Costal del Sol on the Ladies European Tour.
Alexandra Armas, LET chief executive officer, added: “Our members are delighted to be playing in this ground-breaking tournament, which marks another significant development for the LPGA-LET joint venture.”