Former tennis player Ashleigh Barty moves to the white ball

The retired youngster will be part of a team of athletes led by Ernie Els during a series of exhibitions against an American team.

Former tennis world number one Ash Barty has fueled post-career speculation following her early retirement from the Women’s World Tour. In fact, the Australian has announced that she will dedicate herself to golf, enrolling in a series of exhibition tournaments in which 23 other celebrities from the world of sport will participate.

Captain Els and Couples

Barty, who retired aged 25 last month, would be in a Rest of the World team led by South Africa’s Ernie Els against a United States team led by another big Major winner, Fred Couples.

The first Icon Series event will take place June 30 and July 1 at Liberty National Field near New York, New Jersey. Other tournaments are planned for Europe, Asia and Barty’s native Australia.

Other athletes involved in these exhibition tournaments include soccer players Pep Guardiola and Harry Kane, multiple Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, boxers Canelo Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya, and American soccer player Ben Roethlisberger.

Ashleigh Barty, who has won three Grand Slam titles in her tennis career, plays a 4 handicap at her Queensland golf club and is engaged to Garry Kissick, a young professional golf coach. She recently won the women’s tournament at her local club in Brookwater, near Brisbane. During a two-year sabbatical in 2015, she briefly embraced a career as a professional cricketer.

Karrie Webb, a member of the Golf Hall of Fame, said last month that Barty had the talent to one day become Australia’s amateur golf champion. Among his other projects, Barty will publish a series of children’s books called “Little Ash” this year.

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