S'pore to host first Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific c'ship

From left: APGC secretary KJ Lee, The R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers, Tokyo Leisure Development's Norihisa Koda and The R&A's Asia-Pacific director Dominic Wall.
From left: APGC secretary KJ Lee, The R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers, Tokyo Leisure Development's Norihisa Koda and The R&A's Asia-Pacific director Dominic Wall.PHOTO: THE R&A

The planet's leading amateur female golfers will be in Singapore for the inaugural Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific golf championship next year.

Organised by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and The R&A, the Feb 21-24 tournament will be held at Sentosa Golf Club's (SGC) New Tanjong Course.

The 86-player field will be from 20 of the 28 APGC member countries. Each country can field a maximum of six players, with hosts Singapore receiving an additional four invites.

Among those in the world amateur golf ranking's top 100 are South Koreans Choi Hye Jin (No. 2) and Seong Eun Jeong (No. 8), and China's Liu Wenbo (No. 10).

The 17-year-old Choi finished runner-up at last month's US Women's Open, nearly becoming the first amateur to win the Major since France's Catherine Lacoste in 1967. She finished two shots back of compatriot Park Sung Hyun.

David Cherry, chairman of the APGC, said: "Some of the world's most talented women's golfers have come from the Asia-Pacific region and we believe that this event will be a hugely important opportunity for elite players to develop their skills and gain valuable experience."

The Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific winner will earn a spot at two Majors - next year's Women's British Open and the ANA Inspiration. She will also get to compete at the US$1.5 million (S$2.04 million) HSBC Women's Champions in Sentosa next year.

The next two editions of the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific will be held at Japan's Royal Golf Club in 2019 and 2020.

The men's version of the championship was first held in 2009 and next year's edition will be held at SGC in October.

Sentosa also stages other prestigious tournaments like the SMBC Singapore Open.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said: "We have seen how successful the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship has been in providing a springboard for the elite men's amateurs and we look forward to replicating this success in unearthing the emerging talents of the women's game in future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore to host first Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific c'ship'. Print Edition | Subscribe