Women amateurS will Now get their day too

For Immediate Release: APRIL 4, 2018

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.

ONLINE: Official Masters Release | Video Announcement

“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.


 

Chairman Fred Ridley Announces Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced today the establishment of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be held annually the week prior to the Masters and will culminate with the final round taking place at Augusta National.

“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.

The event is expected to be televised and will be distributed on digital platforms around the world. Daily tickets onto the grounds of Augusta National for the final round will also be made available through a random selection process that will be announced at a later date.

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship is now the latest effort announced by the Masters to inspire interest and participation in the game of golf, joining the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, the Latin America Amateur Championship and Drive, Chip and Putt, all of which are actively supported by the Tournament.

Format

An international field of 72 women amateurs will compete over 54-holes of stroke play. A cut will take place after 36 holes, advancing the leading 30 players to the final round at Augusta National Golf Club. In the event of a tie after 54 holes, the winner will be decided by sudden-death playoff.

Schedule

The first 36 holes will be contested over two days at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Following the 36-hole cut, the final competitive round will take place at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 6.

Qualifications for Invitation

  • Invitations will be provided to the winners of the following recognized events: 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.
  • Future champions of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will also receive an invitation for the following five years.
  • The top 30 players from the United States of America will be invited who are not otherwise qualified, based on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
  • After the previous qualifications, the next 30 highest ranked players not otherwise qualified will receive invitations, as listed on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
  • Remaining positions filled by invitation of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship Committee.
  • Note: All players who qualify must retain amateur status to compete in 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.