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Golf launches answer to T20 cricket

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Justin Chadwick

Golf is finally ready to embrace the Twenty20 buzz, with Perth to host a revolutionary new tournament that organisers hope will become a big hit on the international stage.

The four-year-old Perth International has been axed in favour of a new event called the World Super 6 Perth.

The new tournament features 54 holes of traditional stroke play, before the top 24 players battle it out in a series of knockout, match-play shootouts played over six holes on the final day.

Any matches tied after a six-hole shootout will be decided by a purpose-built, 90m knockout hole.

If the players are still level after that hole, the winner will be decided by a closest-to-the-pin contest - even if it's the final.

The inaugural World Super 6 Perth will be played at Lake Karrinyup from February 16-19 next year.

The event has been locked in for the next three years, and is co-sanctioned by the powerful European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia.

Cricket has attracted a wave of new supporters since introducing Twenty20 cricket in 2003.

Netball and rugby union are other sports which have benefited from more exciting versions of their game.

Golf's powerbrokers will be keeping a close eye on the World Super 6 Perth to gauge whether it could be introduced in other places around the world.

Perth will be the ultimate guinea pig, and organisers are confident it will be a raging success.

"Golf needs to innovate," PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn said.

"This is a tournament and a format we hope will endure.

"It's certainly a world-first initiative. I think tours around the world will be looking at it and saying, 'Wow'.

"It's innovation. It's fresh, it's change. If you want to call it golf's version of T20 cricket, I wouldn't be arguing with that."

The Perth International was launched in 2012, but it struggled to regularly attract big-name players.

Thorburn hinted more money would be thrown at the new tournament in a bid to ensure a higher-calibre field.

And he's confident players will naturally want to play at the event given its unique structure.

Sport management company IMG, which owned and ran the Perth International, won't be involved in the new event.

HOW THE NEW WORLD SUPER 6 PERTH WORKS:

* The first three days will be traditional stroke play

* The 156-man field will be cut to the leading 65 (and tied) professionals after the second round

* The field will be cut to 24 after the third round

* Those 24 players battle it out over six-hole matches until one man is left standing

* T he top eight players after the third round will be rewarded with automatic seeding into the second round of match play

* In the match play rounds, any contest not decided after six holes will go to a new, purpose-built 'Knockout Hole'

* If they are still level after the 'Knockout Hole', they will tee off again but, this time, the winner will be decided by a closest-to-the-pin contest.

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