The Founding Partners of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) hailed the manner in which the region’s finest players have responded to the championship in the first decade of its history.
The 10th edition of the region’s premier amateur golf tournament – organised by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A – is being played this week at Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong course.
Kei Muratsu, the Chairman of the APGC, said: “As we gather for the 10th time, we continue to be amazed by the success of this event and the achievements of the players who are proving our efforts are worthwhile.
“We are very thankful to The R&A and Augusta, who gave us this opportunity, and also gave instant credibility to the value and reputation for this championship.
“This is the ultimate goal for all elite amateur players throughout the region, to compete here.”
Martin Slumbers, the Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “I think there’s so much we can reflect on with great pleasure about the first 10 years of the AAC.
“When we started, the intention was to create a platform for the best players to develop. There is no better way of demonstrating that than the fact that when we first staged the event, there was only one player from the region in the top 50 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
“As of this morning, there are 11 players from the region in the top 50 of the amateur golf ranking. That’s a pretty extraordinary amount of growth in 10 years, and it’s a great testament to all the good work that’s going on in the Asia-Pacific countries to develop their players.
“At the end of the day, we want the game to grow. The overriding purpose of The R&A is to see golf thriving 50 years from now. For that we need more people playing and these championships create some opportunities to inspire the next generation of players.”
Fred Ridley, Chairman of the Masters Tournament, added: “I think our operations continue to improve every year. We have been fortunate to have a group of sponsors whose global brands have elevated the stature of this championship.
“It’s not just the quality of the field, but the participation of the member organizations in the APGC has also grown dramatically, from 31 in 2009, to 42 as of yesterday. That in itself is an indicator of how things have progressed and the impact this championship has made.
“This is all great anecdotal information, but from a larger perspective we have been pleased to see the impact this event has had on golf in the region.
“We started with the idea of creating heroes and role models so other young people would be inspired to take up the game, and I think all of that is coming to fruition.”
Muratsu thanked the Masters Tournament and The R&A for their support to the region.
“I don’t know how we could appreciate it; it’s very difficult to say with words. There’s nothing to compare with that,” he added.
“It’s not only the financial support, but their energy and their enthusiasm about golf and also their commitment to this part of the world, and from the top, the chairman, to also the staff and the people, I’ve never seen a team like this that works so hard.”