Augusta National to host women's event

by Leon Thompson April 6, 2018, 2:00
Augusta National to host women's event

The first two rounds will take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, with the leading 30 players then contesting the final round at Augusta National on Saturday April 6.

For a golf course so lovely and full of colour, Augusta National has always harboured a darker side.

"As just the seventh person to serve as chairman of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament, I begin the most significant chapter in my lifelong connection to the game of golf", Ridley said on the eve of the Masters.

The 54-hole, stroke play tournament will feature an global field of 72 players.

"I read a lot in the past few months about things our founders said about really what our role and obligation was in the game of golf, and it's been a consistent theme and part of our culture that we have an obligation to give back to the game", Ridley said. Invitees will be determined by awarding winners of other recognized championships and using the Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Ridley, who won the 1975 U.S. Amateur Championship, is the first Augusta National Chairman who played in the Masters, having done so from 1976-78.

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The tournament, which will come into being next year, will see the best 72 amateur players in the world compete at Augusta in the week before the Masters itself.

"We don't know how many (tickets) there will be, and we don't share that information, but we do intend for this to attract, hopefully, a significant number of people".

"We are always looking for new ways to benefit and impact the game", Ridley said in a statement. "But I can assure you it will be very, very nice".

Remaining positions will be filled through invitations from the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship Committee.

In recent years, the club has undertaken several grow-the-game initiatives, including amateur events in Asia and South America, as well as the Drive, Chip & Putt for kids ages 7 to 15 that takes place on the Sunday prior to tournament week.

Ridley says he doesn't foresee a problem after discussing the new tournament concept with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. I think it's a superb opportunity.

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