The tri-sanctioned, equal men's and women's prize money event will be the first of its kind in the northern hemisphere
ISPS Handa World Invitational To Feature European Tour, LPGA And LET Players
The return of the ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by Modest! Golf Management has been confirmed with the tournament's status bumped up to an official European Tour event following a successful inaugural edition on the Challenge Tour in 2019.
It will be tri-sanctioned with the European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour, and is set for Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland from July 28th – August 1st, 2021.
Just like in 2019, the tournament will be played over two courses, Galgorm Castle and Massereene ,and will form part of the European Tour’s 2021 UK Swing, taking in tournaments in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England across July and August.
It will be the first time an event of this format is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour in the northern hemisphere – following in the footsteps of the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia which has the same format.
The tournament will feature a huge field of 288 players, made up of 144 men and 144 women, with the women’s field split equally between the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour.
The $2.35 million purse will be split evenly, with men and women competing for two equal prize funds.
The tournament will count towards the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and carry Team Europe Ryder Cup points for the men.
The women’s tournament will count towards the Race to the CME Globe on the LPGA Tour, the Race to Costa del Sol on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Solheim Cup points for both Team Europe and Team USA.
It will be a traditional 72-hole stroke play format with men and women competing at two venues, Galgorm Castle Golf Club and Massereene Golf Club, over the first two days before a halfway cut reduces the field to the top 60 professionals, including ties, in the men’s and women’s draws.
The third round will take place at Galgorm Castle before a further 54-hole cut takes place with the top 35 and ties from the men’s and women’s draws advancing to the final round on Sunday.
There is also going to be a new pro-only pre-qualifier event for men and women, taking place ahead of the tournament in June with further details to follow, while Golf Ireland’s Ulster Stroke Play Championship will provide elite amateurs with the opportunity to qualify and compete in the tournament.
Amateurs will be able to enter for the Ulster Strokeplay Championship through the Golf Ireland website.
The event will have extensive live coverage via Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland plus international broadcasters globally, with an expected daily global audience in the region of 640 million.
The LPGA Tour offering should provide a unique reach into Asia and North America.
Niall Horan, owner of Modest! Golf Management, said: “This is a key moment for professional golf in this part of the world, and 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.
“I have been attending European Tour events for as long as I can remember. To host a co-sanctioned LPGA Tour and European Tour event on the island of Ireland gives me so much pride and I cannot wait to return to the amazing Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort this summer, the perfect venue to host such a tournament.”
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.
“We thank Dr Handa for his continued support of the European Tour, and also Niall Horan and Modest! Golf Management for their hard work and determination in helping elevate this event after building strong foundations on the Challenge Tour in 2019. Galgorm Castle was a hugely popular addition to our Race to Dubai schedule in 2020 and we are all looking forward to returning there in July.”
Michael Whan, former LPGA Tour Commissioner, said: “ISPS Handa has long been a visionary in how sports can be an agent of change, and now we are excited to help them move to a whole new level and deliver a message of equality to fans in Northern Ireland with the ISPS Handa World Invitational.
“To have the best women and men compete alongside each other at the same venue for the same purse, is exciting for fans and it showcases what is great about this global game.”
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, and I would like to thank all of the sponsors and organisers for their support of our vision and desire to elevate European women’s golf to new heights.
“We are committed to providing more playing opportunities for Europe’s most talented golfers to thrive and flourish and to enable them to reach the highest levels in golf. This tournament offers a unique platform which will no doubt raise the game and inspire more women and girls to take up the sport.”
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Tips on how to play better, latest equipment reviews, interviews with the biggest names and more.
Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Victor Dubuisson Retires After Withdrawing From LIV Golf Qualifier
The 2014 Ryder Cup winner has announced his retirement in an interview with L'Equipe
By Mike Hall Published
LIV Golf Captains Sergio Garcia And Joaquin Niemann Trade Players
Fireballs GC player David Puig and Torque GC's Carlos Ortiz are heading in opposite directions ahead of the 2024 season
By Mike Hall Published
Who Is Justin Thomas’ Wife?
The American star married Jillian Wisniewski in November 2022
By Matt Cradock Last updated
Rory McIlroy Gym Routine... Revealed!
In this Rory McIlroy Gym Routine article we discover how the Northern Irishman keeps himself so fit
By Neil Tappin Published
What Is Tiger Woods' Net Worth?
Tiger Woods became the first billion dollar athlete in 2009
By Elliott Heath Last updated
The Masters Live Stream: How To Watch The Major
Here are all the details on how you can watch the Major wherever you are in the world.
By Sam Tremlett Published
12 Things You Didn't Know About Gary Woodland
We get to know US Open Champion Gary Woodland a little better
By Sam Tremlett Published
Five Outsiders Who Could Win The Masters
We consider five players who might surprise the favourites and claim victory at Augusta
By Fergus Bisset Published
Who Is Tiger Woods’ Girlfriend?
Find out more on who the American professional golfer is going out with here.
By Matt Cradock Last updated
Bermuda Championship Golf Betting Tips 2021
Who is the GM Tipster backing to win this week in Bermuda?
By Jeremy Chapman Published