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NORTON, Massachusetts – While all eyes are on the world’s top professional golfers [and – of course – one local Brockton firefighter (click here to read more about the #MATTsters fever that has taken over the Bay State in support of reigning Mass Golf Player of the Year Matt Parziale)], attention shifted to the top amateur female competitors on Wednesday afternoon.
In what was a historic day for women’s golf, Fred Ridley, the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced the establishment of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship. Beginning in 2019, this new event will be held the week prior to the Masters and will culminate with the final round taking place at Augusta National.
“What a terrific day for women’s golf,” said Cathleen Beach, the Mass Golf’s Director of Women’s Events & Player Development. “This opportunity will not only open the door for so many talented female amateurs in the coming years, but we hope that it will inspire thousands more to take up the game with dreams of playing at Augusta National. A young girl playing a competitive round at Augusta National was not a possibility until today.”
This latest announcement continues what has been one of the most memorable lead-ups to the Masters Tournament for Mass Golf. After all, this year marks the first time in 17 years that Massachusetts has had one of its own – Parziale – compete in the first major of the season. In addition, Parziale, the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Champion, has received national and international support as one of only six amateurs in the 2018 field and the only firefighter who will be teeing it up on Thursday.
“All of us here at Mass Golf have been overwhelmed with the support of Matt,” said Jesse Menachem, Mass Golf’s Executive Director/CEO. “We started the #MATTsters campaign so that we could show Matt our unified support and it has taken off to the point where we are hearing from groups all over the world. Matt is an incredible golfer, a dedicated public servant and one of the nicest and most generous competitors that we have the honor of having as part of our Mass Golf community.”
And what does Beach say about the idea of female amateurs enjoying the same experience in future years?
“We have female golfers who had special #MATTsters t-shirts made up to show support of Matt,” said Beach. “I can’t wait for more t-shirts to be made in coming years to show support of our outstanding female amateurs. This announcement assures that it will soon be their time too.”
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship news comes on the heels of last week’s LPGA announcement that the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) will officially join the LPGA family and be rebranded as ‘LPGA Women Who Play,’.
See below for a copy of the official release about the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
For the Winner
Provided she remain an amateur, the 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Champion will receive an invitation to the next five Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championships, 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.