LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Justin Rose and his wife Kate are to sponsor a new women's series in Britain starting this month.
The Rose Ladies Series will comprise seven one-day events for British professionals, beginning on June 18 at Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club in Hampshire.
One of the tournaments will take place at Royal St George's that was supposed to host the British Open this year. No fans will be allowed but Sky Sports will broadcast the events.
Rose, the reigning Olympic champion, said he felt compelled to get involved because while he is preparing to make a return to the PGA Tour this week, women's professional golf tournaments will not resume until late July.
"Professional sports people are not machines -- we cannot just power on and go. We have to nurture our skills in order to rely on them when needed; usually under pressure," the 39-year-old told the Ladies European Tour website.
"My wife and I felt it was an opportunity for us to help where we can. The prize money will be modest but we hope that the series will give our talented lady golfers the opportunity to showcase their skills.
"Golf has given me so much. As most of my followers know, I had my struggles early in my career, but at least I did not have to face a pandemic! I was still able to play.
"To be denied the opportunity to work or to play for months on end is very challenging, both physically and mentally."
The series was jointly devised by Ladies European Tour player Liz Young and Brockenhurst Manor head pro Jason MacNiven but until the Roses stepped in it was without a sponsor.
Women's professional golf tournaments on the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour remain suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with plans to resume in late July.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)