Battle of the sexes: Women's teams advance at GolfSixes

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Battle of the sexes: Women's teams advance at GolfSixes

Euro Tour

Battle of the sexes: Women's teams advance at GolfSixes

ST ALBANS, England – Call it honors even so far in the battles of the sexes in the second edition of the $1.2 million GolfSixes.

Both women’s teams are through to the quarterfinals. So is the England’s men’s team. Much to Eddie Pepperell’s relief.

Pepperell successfully lobbied for women to be included this year, then feared the worst when he and Matt Wallace were drawn against the English women’s team of Charley Hull and Georgia Hall in their opening match.

Pepperell said he’d rather beat the women and play badly the rest of the season than lose and play well. It looked like the former when Charley Hull stiffed a 7-iron to a foot on the first green to go 1 up. Fortunately, the men managed to tie the match and then won the group to qualify for the quarterfinals.

“We had a good, tough match with the girls and are just relieved to not lose that,” Pepperell said.

The English women beat South Africa then lost to Sweden, but finished second in the group on the basis of more holes won than Sweden.

Hall and Hull began the tournament at odds of 50-1 against 6-1 for Pepperell and Wallace. Those odds now look like a wise investment. So does the 66-1 you could have gotten on the European women’s team of Carlota Ciganda and Mel Reid. They’re through to the quarterfinals after winning a playoff against Denmark to finish second in group one.

“I don’t think a lot of people thought we’d do well,” Hull said.

Reid wasn’t one of those people.

“I have absolute faith in our partnership, and we would have been disappointed not to get through to Sunday,” Reid said. “This is a huge opportunity to showcase women’s golf. We don’t get the coverage and we don’t get as supported as I feel like we should.”

Reid believes it will be significant for women’s golf should one of the women’s teams win.

“It would be huge for women’s golf,” she said, “and hopefully a few more people will want to take up the game of golf now because they see how passionate we are about it.”

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