Augusta National has announced NBC Sports as official broadcast partner for its new women’s amateur event, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA), held April 3-6. The event’s final round will be televised live from Augusta National on NBC from noon to 3 p.m. EST, a significant boost for the women’s game. The coverage is supported by five presenting sponsors: AT&T, Bank of America, IBM, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex.
Tickets are also now available on www.ANWAgolf.com. The window to fill out a ticket application is short: Sept. 12-30. The site makes it clear that this is not a lottery system but rather a pre-qualification. Those who are chosen for tickets will be notified by late October. There will be no cost for tickets for the first two rounds, held April 3 and 4 on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club. Final-round tickets cost $75. There will be no tickets sold at the gates.
The 72-player, 54-hole event features a 36-hole cut. Here’s an unusual twist: After the field has been cut to 30, all 72 players will make their way to Augusta National on Friday, April 5, for a practice round. Competition will resume for the top 30 on April 6, where a female champion will be crowned at the iconic course.
Golf Channel will be live at Champions Retreat providing highlights and live reports throughout the event.
“Since the announcement of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April, we have remained determined to organize a competition that will provide a meaningful impact on the development of the women’s game,” Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, said in a release. “While we aim to stage a first-class championship, our motivation goes beyond the scores posted between the ropes. By providing this opportunity and shining a brighter light on this important segment of the sport, we expect role models to emerge who will help inspire a new generation of golfers.”
The following players have already qualified for the event:
- Kristen Gillman (USA), U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion (photo above)
- Leonie Harm (Germany), Ladies’ British Open Amateur Champion
- Atthaya Thitikul (Thailand), Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Champion
- Yealimi Noh (USA), U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion and Girls Junior PGA Champion
- Emma Spitz (Austria), Girls’ British Open Amateur Champion
The next 60 positions will be filled based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking at the end of 2018. The top 30 players from the United States not otherwise qualified will be invited, followed by the next 30 highest-ranked players not otherwise qualified.
The ANWA Championship Committee will fill the remaining spots by special invitation.