Former World No 1 Ash Barty heightened speculation that she could become a golfer as she entered a celebrity gold tournament.
The three-time Grand Slam champion stunned the tennis world when she stepped away from the sport in March, with the multi-talented 25-year-old coy about her plans.
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But Icons Series organisers revealed that she would be among the sports stars competing in the US event in June.
A very special trip with memories to last a lifetime 🖤💛❤️
My first time visiting the stunning Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and some amazing students from Mutitjulu School and Alice Springs (Mparntwe), helping deliver the Racquets and Red Dust tennis program. pic.twitter.com/DbH68s1pt1
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) February 27, 2022
“I’m excited to be part of the Icons Series and I hope through my participation in the series that we can encourage more women and girls to participate in golf around the world,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
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Barty had once ditched tennis and excelled in top-level cricket, and picked up her golf clubs in September 2020 to claim the Brookwater Golf Club women’s title near Brisbane.
“It’s such a unique opportunity to have fun, test yourself and compete against the world’s greatest athletes in a sport that we are all so passionate about.”
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US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya are among other famous competitors due to take part at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.
The 28 competitors will be split into Team USA, led by Fred Couples, and Team Rest of the World, led by Ernie Els.
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The US tournament is the first in a series, with plans to host editions around the world including in Barty’s home country of Australia.