England Golf CEO Nick Pink beams after Augusta National announcement
England Golf CEO Nick Pink has welcomed Augusta National’s decision to host a women’s amateur competition beginning next year, saying it continues the surge of momentum currently surrounding the women’s game.
Addressing media on the eve of the Masters, chairman Fred Ridley announced the establishment of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be held the week prior to the Masters.
It signals a major move for the development of the women’s game across the globe and, for Pink, it aligns well with the various initiatives England Golf is carrying out to get more ladies and girls taking up the game.
“This is great news and adds momentum to the drive to put women’s golf centre stage, alongside the men’s game,” he told UK Club Golfer. “It’s really clear that everyone means business, from the top of the game to grassroots.
“We see that from the merger of the R&A and the LGU and, for example, the European Tour’s Golf Sixes, which will feature women players.
“It’s the same story at club level. Girls Golf Rocks, which we run with the Golf Foundation, is inspiring a new generation of players by showing them that golf is fun.”
The championship will comprise an international field of 72 players, with invitees determined by winners of recognised championships, as well as using the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Its format is a 54-hole strokeplay event, the first two rounds of which will take place at nearby Champions Retreat Golf Club.
After a 36-hole cut to the low 30 scores, the final round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 6 – the week before the Masters.
Speaking about the championship, Ridley, who has three daughters, said: “We believe this event will have a significant and lasting impact on the future of the women’s game.”