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Out of Bounds: European Tour introduces new 'revolutionary' format this week

Here’s our weekly preview of what’s happening on both sides of the Atlantic.

THERE MAY NOT be any Irish involvement to pique our interest but this week’s World Super 6 in Perth is certainly worth keeping an eye.

In a bid to attract a new generation of fans, the European Tour has introduced a new ‘revolutionary’ format which will see 24 players go head-to-head in a six-hole final-day matchplay showdown on Sunday.

Major winner Louis Oosthuizen leads a field dipping their toe in the new event Down Under, which begins tomorrow with the first of three rounds of strokeplay.

Two cuts after 36 and 54 holes will whittle the field down to the top 24 who will go into battle on Sunday. The top eight will get byes into the second-round of six-hole matches, which should take around an hour each to complete rather than the four to five hours of an 18-hole round.

If any players remain tied after playing the “shootout hole” they will go back to the tee and fire again with nearest the pin winning.

321107_ORIG11 Source: European Tour

“We want to broaden the appeal of our sport to the millennial demographic and I think this format will do that,” European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, said earlier in the week.

“Not only through the quick and exciting style of play, but also with the interactive digital experience fans will enjoy on site and the innovative television coverage people will enjoy at home.

As mentioned 2010 Open winner Oosthuizen is the headline name with Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Alexander Noren of Sweden also on the entry list.

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry, Pádraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell continue their seasons at the Genesis Open (formerly the Northern Trust Open) in Los Angeles.

Italy Open Golf Harrington is one of three Irish in action at the Genesis Open. Source: Antonio Calanni

Tee shorts

Here are the Irish players in action (all times are Irish and for Thursday’s opening round):

PGA Tour – Genesis Open 

  • Pádraig Harrington, Si Woo Kim and Stewart Cink – 3.11pm
  • Tony Finau, Graeme McDowell, Matt Every – 7.51pm
  • Shane Lowry, Nick Watney, KJ Choi – 8.02pm

Sky Sports have coverage of the Genesis Open from 7pm on Thursday and Friday and 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

Back spin

Jordan Spieth took his career tally to nine victories last week with a four-shot win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am while Fabrizio Zanotti made an eagle on the final hole to win his second European Tour title at the Maybank Championship.

Here are some of the best shots from last week’s action:

Sign your card

The Genesis Open is the last event on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing and it has a stellar field to boot with many of the game’s biggest names in California this week; eight of the world’s top 10 are in attendance.

Bubba Watson has won here twice in the last three years and certainly has to be considered as one of the contenders but it’s hard to look past Spieth’s imperious form.

The former world number one appears to have rectified the issues which were the source of a frustrating year in 2016 and last week looked back to his formidable best.

Dustin Johnson leads the betting (7/1), with Spieth (8/1), Hideki Matsuyama (10/1) and Jason Day (14/1) also among the favourites with the bookmakers.

The 19th

*Love heart eyes emoji*

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