Ashleigh Barty swings back into action, trades tennis for golf


Ashleigh Barty | AP

Brisbane: Ash Barty has signed on to play in an international golf exhibition just weeks after retiring from tennis while ranked No. 1 in the world.

The 25-year-old Australian has been included in Ernie Els’ Rest of the World team for the Icons Series event at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, on June 30 and July 1.

Barty decided to quit tennis last month. She won the Australian Open in January for her third Grand Slam singles championship after titles at Wimbledon last year and the French Open in 2019.

She has reportedly lowered her golf handicap to 4 and is continuing a versatile approach to sports, which included her briefly pursuing a professional cricket career in 2015 during a nearly two-year sabbatical from tennis.

Icon Series organizers said Barty will be joined by the likes of Pep Guardiola and Harry Kane in the 10-hole team match play competition against Fred Couples' U.S. team, which includes Michael Phelps, Oscar De La Hoya and Ben Roethlisberger.

Barty, who is engaged to Garry Kissick, a trainee golf professional in Australia, recently won the ladies' competition at her home club Brookwater, near Brisbane.

Karrie Webb, who has 41 wins on the LPGA Tour, played a round with Barty in 2019 and said the tennis star had the talent to play golf at a high level.

“I could tell if she puts some time into it she will be a great player,” Webb told media

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