The R&A and Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) have announced the first Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific golf championship will be played at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore from February 21-24, 2018.
The inaugural event will take place at the New Tanjong course and will provide the most talented women’s amateur golfers in the region with the opportunity to earn an invitation to play in two major championships: the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the ANA Inspiration.
The winner of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific will be invited by HSBC, which supports women’s golf around the world, to play in the 11th staging of the HSBC Women’s Championship, the region’s leading women’s golf tournament, being played the following week on the same course at Sentosa next year.
It was also announced that the Royal Golf Club in Japan will be the venue for the championship in 2019 and 2020.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “One of our overriding objectives is to identify opportunities to further develop and grow women’s amateur golf in key regions around the world.
“The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific offers the chance for the region’s best amateur golfers to aspire to compete at the highest level.
“We have seen how successful the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship has been in providing a springboard for the elite men’s amateurs and we look forward to replicating this success in unearthing the emerging talents of the women’s game in future.”
Dr David Cherry, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, added: “It is an exciting time for women’s amateur golf in the region and we are delighted to be partnering with The R&A to launch the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship.
“Some of the world’s most talented women’s golfers have come from the Asia-Pacific region and we believe that this event will be a hugely important opportunity for elite players to develop their skills and gain valuable experience.”
The format for the championship will be 72 holes of stroke play and players will be invited to participate from member countries of the APGC based on the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™.
Currently, there are 20 players from Asia-Pacific ranked in the WAGR™ Top 100, including Korea’s Hye-jin Choi (2) and Eun-jeong Seong (9), China’s Wenbo Liu (12) and Thailand’s Pimnipa Panthong (31) and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit (32).
A total of 86 players will make up the field and it is expected that about 20 countries will be represented. A maximum number of six players from any country other than the host will be able to enter. The host country will receive an additional four invitations.
Kabaya Ohayo Group and Rolex will be the championship’s principal sponsors, while IMG have been engaged to assist with tournament staging and TV broadcasting, which will include live coverage and highlights packages.