The field for the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship, which will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China, was released today. The big news next week will be the winner’s invitation to the 2010 Masters.
When the event’s creation was announced eight months ago, critics said the field wouldn’t be strong enough to merit a Masters invitation, especially when events like the European Amateur and NCAA Championship don’t receive one.
The Asian Amateur field is weak when considering the big prize awaiting the winner, but the event, which is run by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation with support from Augusta National and the R&A, wasn’t necessarily created to strengthen the Masters field. It was created to “grow the game” in Asia and capitalize on golf’s growth in the region.
The highest-ranked player in the Asian Amateur field, according to the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Rankings, is No. 44 Daniel Nisbet of Australia. There are just 11 players in the field ranked in the top 200, and only four in the top 100 (see below). Many of the top players in the field aren’t Asian, either, but from Australia and New Zealand. The top three players in the field are Australian, and eight of the 11 top-200 players are either Australian or from New Zealand.
The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Rankings were used to determine the field. The top two players from each Asia Pacific Golf Confederation member country, plus the top four from the host country, were invited. The field was filled with the highest-ranked players from APGC member countries. No country, with the exception of the host country, could have more than six players in the field.
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ASIAN AMATEUR PARTICIPANTS IN THE TOP 200 IN THE R&A WAGR:
- 44. Daniel Nisbet (Australia)
- 64. Bryden Macpherson (Australia)
- 67. Matthew Giles (Australia)
- 86. Eric Chun (Korea)
- 106. Jordan Sherratt (Australia)
- 109. Matt Jager (Australia)
- 117. Brendan Smith (Australia)
- 137. Rashid Khan (India)
- 152. Ryan Fox (New Zealand)
- 168. Chi-Hsien Hsieh (Chinese Taipei)
- 187. Peter Spearman-Burn (New Zealand)
A handful of players who compete at U.S. colleges will also be in the field:
- Matthew Giles (Australia/USC)
- Ren Han (China/Indiana)
- Mu Hu (China/Florida)
- Roderick Staunton (Hong Kong/former USC player)
- Eric Chun (Korea/Northwestern)
- Judson Eustaquio (Philippines/Florida Southern)