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Mixed-gender ‘Ryder Cup’ gets full backing from Stacy Lewis

The idea of a mixed-gender ‘Ryder Cup’ tournament has been backed by world No.1 Stacy Lewis after a mixed event was introduced for the first time at the Youth Olympics this year.

There has never been a competition anywhere close to men and women golfers playing with or against one another, but in an interview with BBC Sport, 29-year-old American Lewis admitted she was a supporter of the idea.

"It would be a great thing,” she said. "Anything like that would help sell our sport. I'd be a huge fan. I'd be all over it and love to play."

Lewis added: "If I was to pick someone to play with in the fourballs or foursomes it would be Rickie Fowler or Jordan Spieth. They are both good putters under pressure."

Lewis has played in the last two Solheim Cups, which currently take place during odd years, while the Ryder Cup is played in even years. To bridge the gap between Ryder Cups, a USA team play against International counterparts in the established President’s Cup.

This past Sunday Europe swept the USA off the greens at Gleneagles as they retained the Ryder Cup on the 40th anniversary of the event, walking out 16 ½ -11 ½ winners.

However, despite her hopes for a mixed-gender Ryder Cup down the line, Lewis knows that it might be difficult to find room in what is already a packed calendar.

"The scheduling will be the hardest part and if anybody would get it started it'd be the PGA [the men's governing body in the US]," she said.

"We have a Women's PGA championship (formerly the LPGA Championship) beginning next year, so we're establishing a relationship with the men's game - maybe that could lead to something."

PGA chief Pete Bevacqua was also interviewed by BBC Sport and explained there were no plans currently in place to add a new matchplay event.

"It's an interesting idea, but it's not on our radar screen," he said. "But never say never. As the women's game continues to develop and grow then maybe that is something that is down the road.”

He added: "It's so difficult to find three, four, five days in the season. It becomes increasingly difficult to give serious thought to creating new events. But the more we can do mixed events, the better it will be for the game. Anything we can do to make golf more attractive and compelling is something we should be looking at."

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