The Masters Week is growing again. The addition of the National Drive, Chip & Putt Championship several years ago opened up the grounds at the Augusta National Golf Club to whole other segment of golfer. Now the club is making the move once again to increase their support of amateur golf.
On Thursday, the day prior to the commencement of the 2018 Masters, the new Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, Fred Ridley, announced that the club has established new Augusta National Women’s Championship. The annual event will begin in 2019 in the week prior to the Masters with a Saturday finish.
“We are always looking for new ways to benefit and impact the game,” shared Ridley in a media conference. “We are very blessed to have the resources to do that.”
The Chairman,a former elite amateur, conveyed that he felt it was the right time for the women’s game and explained that while they are involved in various amateur events around the world, they wanted to make sure this event was conducted at Augusta National in some way to “have the biggest impact.”
For 2019 the 54-hole event will see the first 36 holes played at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta with the players making the final round cut then competing for the final round at ANGC.
The players with the 30 lowest scores will make it to the final round. The week will begin with 72 players all invited based on wins in other key amateur championships and using the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. The key amateur qualifying events will be the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship, Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, U.S. Girls’ Junior, Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship, Girls Junior PGA Championship
“Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts left behind a legacy of always trying to contribute meaningfully to the game of golf,” Ridley said. “The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship embodies that principle, and we believe this event will have a significant and lasting impact on the future of the women’s game. Our hope and expectation is that this event will further energize those who already love the sport and inspire others through the dream of competing at Augusta National.”
Golf fans will not be left out of this new event. It will be televised and coverage also shared on various digital platforms. The club says that patrons will also be welcomed to the property at Augusta National Golf Club for the final round. The random selection process for acquiring those tickets will be revealed at a later date.
As long as she maintains her amateur status the winner of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will be exempt to the championship for five years and will also receive exemptions into the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2019 Women’s British Open, and any USGA, R&A and PGA of America amateur championships for which she is eligible for one year.