The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will be played next year the week prior to The Masters Tournament.
Augusta National have taken another step into the 21st century by revealing plans for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship to be played the week prior to The Masters next year.
Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley announced that the three round tournament will see golfers play the first two rounds at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta followed by a final round at Augusta National Golf Club on the Saturday.
While many have been hoping that Augusta National may one day start a women’s Masters Tournament, this is certainly welcome news. Especially for a club that didn’t even allow female members until 2012.
“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.”
The 54-hole, stroke play tournament will feature an international field of 72 players. Invitees will be determined by awarding winners of other recognized championships and using the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
In 2019, the first two rounds will take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta. After a cut to the low 30 scores, the final competitive round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 6, when an amateur champion will be crowned for the first time ever at the home of the Masters.
There is one problem though, which Karrie Webb pointed out on Twitter. The new event clashes with the first women’s major of the year – the ANA Inspiration. Held the week before The Masters many of the world’s best amateur golfers will have a difficult decision to make – whether to compete in a major or tee it up at the inaugural Women’s Amateur Championship at Augusta National.
While we can appreciate how great this announcement is, this isn’t exactly going to go down well in women’s professional golf and may be seen as Augusta bullying their way into women’s golf.
While I appreciate the thought and tremendous opportunity for the top female amateurs to compete at one of the most iconic courses in the world, was any thought given to the fact that at the @lpga first major the top female amateurs compete there? Same week!! 🤷♀️🙈 https://t.co/5hWTl3AHrq
— Karrie Webb (@Karrie_Webb) April 4, 2018