Ash Barty has confirmed she’ll take part in the Icons Series exhibition golf event, alongside esteemed sporting names, such as Man City manager Pep Guardiola and former swimmer Michael Phelps.
Barty announced her shock retirement from tennis last month, despite being ranked number one in the world at the time. Earlier this year, the 25-year-old clinched her third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open but said she was “so ready” to step away from the game.
What is the Icons Series?
The Icons Series is an exhibition golf tournament, with a nine-hole team match-play format.
This year’s competition will be held in the USA for the first time, at the Liberty National golf course in New Jersey.
Team USA, captained by 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, will take on a Rest of the World team, led by four-time major winner Ernie Els.
A number of renowned sportspeople have competed in the event over the years, including the late Shane Warne and former boxing world champion Oscar De La Hoya.
Barty is also said to be keen on bringing the tournament to Australia next year.
Could Barty be a professional golfer?
Barty is a multi-talented sportsperson and has already played both professional cricket and tennis.
After retiring from tennis for the first time in 2014, the Aussie turned her attention to cricket and played for Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League.
And the 25-year-old has proven she is a more than capable golfer as well –– winning the Brookwater Golf and Country Club ladies event last month.
While the former tennis star has given no indication that she might pursue a professional golf career, seven-time golf major winner Karrie Webb previously stressed that Barty could make it on the LPGA tour if she wanted to.
“She’s a really handy player and just that one day I could tell if she puts some time into it she will be a great player,” Webb said. “It was everything – she hit the ball a long way – but a lot of athletes are very hand-eye coordinated and they get out there and they’re fairly decent at hitting the ball,” she said.
“When it comes to the finesse shots, sometimes that’s where they struggle, but she’s got good hands from how she plays tennis. You could tell she had good hands and she’d developed a good short game and that just needs sharpening.”