AUGUSTA, Ga. – In a groundbreaking moment in golf, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley has announced the new Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, which will take place on Saturday before the Masters. The new event will bring together 72 amateurs from around the world, with the final round being played at Augusta National.
The first two rounds of the 54-hole stroke play event will take place at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta. After a cut to the low 30 scores, the final round will take place at Augusta National on April 6, when an amateur will be named a champion on the iconic course.
“As a little girl, knowing you have a chance to play on the greatest stage, it would’ve sent me to the range,” said LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam.
The event will be televised. Tickets will be available for the final round and made through a random selection process, of which details will be revealed at a later date.
Invitations will be extended to winners of the following events: U.S. Women’s Amateur, Ladies’ British Open Amateur, Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, U.S. Girls’ Junior, Girls’ British Open Amateur, Girls Junior PGA Championship.
Future winners of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will receive an invitation for the next five years along with the top 30 players from the U.S. who are not otherwise qualified based on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. Then the next 30 highest ranked players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking will follow. Remaining positions will be filled through invitations from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship Committee.
“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 ream of competing at Augusta National.”
With girls’ golf being the fastest growing segment in the game, the timing is right, said Sorenstam.
“It’s heaven on earth,” she said of Augusta National, “there’s no doubt about it. … Now you get these young girls who will have their dreams come true.”
One detail that the LPGA will have the address is that this new championship will conflict with the LPGA’s first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, which has a long history of top amateurs competing. Last week Swiss player Albane Valenzuela made was in the top 10 after two rounds at the ANA, with a total of four amateurs making the cut there. Michelle Wie nearly won the event as an amateur.
– Brentley Romine contributed to this report