Georgia Hall

Hall is one of a number of leading women’s players who are taking part in the event

Britain’s Georgia Hall and Kylie Henry are three shots off the lead after the first round of the Oates Vic Open.

The event in Australia, the only one of its kind in the world, sees men and women playing alternate tee times over two courses for equal prize money.

A total of AUD$1.3m (£730,000) is on offer meaning men and women are each battling for a share of $650,000 (£365,000).

The women’s event is part of the Ladies European Tour.

Hall and Henry both shot three-under-par rounds of 70 – Hall starting with four birdies and a bogey in her opening six holes, while Henry finished her round with two birdies.

The lead is held by Scotland-based American Beth Allen on six under with compatriot Cheyenne Woods one shot back.

Allen, the world number 148, has backed the innovative tournament format.

“I love it. I think that it’s great for spectators because, no matter who you’re coming to support, if you’re coming to support the ladies, then you get a chance to see some of the men and if you’ve come to support the men, you might be surprised that you enjoy watching the ladies,” she said.

“I hope that this event inspires other events.”

Woods said she would love to play in a similar event with her uncle, Tiger, who has returned to action after having back surgery last year.

“To have joint events like this would be great for the LET, LPGA, PGA Tour. I think a lot of tours could learn from this format and it could be very beneficial for the entire game of golf,” she said.

“You could do teams, you could do partners and I would pick him as my partner. I hope he would pick me! I think that would just be awesome.”

News Reporter

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