Inaugural Asian Amateur Championship will be played in October 2009 at Mission Hills Golf Club
Winner receives invitation to compete in the 2010 Masters Winner and runner-up will earn a place in International Final Qualifying for The Open
16 February 2009, Hong Kong: The Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament, and The R&A today announced the creation of the Asian Amateur Championship as part of a partnership committed to promoting the game of golf in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Masters Tournament and The R&A will financially underwrite and provide support to the APGC in the running of the championship. In addition, the winner will receive an invitation to play in the 2010 Masters Tournament, and, together with the runner-up, will earn a place in International Final Qualifying for The 139th Open Championship at St Andrews.
“Golf continues to grow in this region and what better way to stimulate that growth than to enter into this groundbreaking agreement with the Masters and The R&A,” said Tommy Lee, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. “This is an exciting partnership for golf in Asia-Pacific and the APGC is proud of its new affiliation. This initiative will help bring the game to new audiences in Asia-Pacific and will give aspiring amateur golfers a special opportunity in the game.”
Billy Payne, Chairman of the Masters Tournament, added, “We are extremely proud to announce that the winner of the Asian Amateur Championship will receive an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament. This is an extension of the initiative we announced last April regarding the use of the Masters name, and reputation, to help grow the game of golf around the world.”
The R&A’s Chief Executive, Peter Dawson, said, “Throughout our 250-year history, The R&A has worked hard to act in the best interests of the game of golf. The potential to grow the game in Asia-Pacific is very large and the creation of this championship represents a wonderful opportunity to see the region’s talent flourish.
“The R&A is delighted to partner with the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation and the Masters Tournament in this important initiative for golf in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The inaugural Asian Amateur Championship will be held at Mission Hills Golf Club’s World Cup Course from 29 October to 1 November 2009. In future years the event will be played in other countries affiliated to the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, with the 2010 event scheduled to be played in Japan.
Asian Amateur Championship Format
The inaugural Asian Amateur Championship will have a maximum field of 120 amateur players. The field will be selected by the following criteria:
1. The top two ranked amateur players from each of the APGC member countries plus the four top ranked players from the host country, as ranked on The R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) as of August 14, 2009. If there is not a sufficient number of players ranked from that member country, the member country may nominate a player(s) from their country with an established handicap of less than 5.4, to be approved by the APGC, to fulfill the two positions eligible from that country.
2. The remainder of the field (maximum 120 players) will be filled taking the next highest ranked players of APGC Member Countries, not otherwise qualified from the WAGR as of 14 August 2009. The maximum number of eligible players from any APGC member country, with the exception of the host country, will be six.
3. The AAC reserves the right to invite additional players at its discretion.
Asia Pacific Golf Confederation
The APGC is the representative body for 32 national golf associations throughout Asia-Pacific, operating from its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. Golf in the Asia-Pacific region is growing at a considerable rate. There are approximately 18 million golfers and 4,000 golf courses in the region. The APGC assists member organisations in the development of golf in their respective countries, works to ensure adherence to the Rules of Golf as approved by The R&A, and partners with the International Golf Federation in the promotion of golf.
Inspired by its founders, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the Masters Tournament has embraced its obligation and seized opportunities to promote the game since the tournament’s inception in 1934. The efforts of the Masters on behalf of the game of golf are aimed to preserve its integrity, celebrate sportsmanship, applaud champions, positively affect people in need through philanthropy, and give all that is possible back to the game. The Masters is focused on providing stewardship for the game, especially for amateur players and youth around the world.
Based in St Andrews, The R&A is golf's governing body and organiser of The Open Championship. The R&A is committed to working for golf and operates with the consent of 136 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 121 countries. Using funds generated by The Open Championship, The R&A promotes golf development, rules education and best practice for sustainable golf course management throughout the world.
Mission Hills Golf Club is the world’s largest golf complex as accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records. Its twelve 18-hole golf courses are designed by the game’s greatest players and course architects, and spread across an area of over 20 square kilometers from Shenzhen to Dongguan in Southern China, just 30 minutes outside of Hong Kong. Mission Hills has made a name for itself in the world of premier golf through its pioneering role in developing golf in China and the region, and being host to some of the continent’s most important golf tournaments.