Women will be allowed to compete at Augusta National in amateur event starting in 2019

Filed under: Florida News,Golf,Sport |

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In 2012, Augusta National Golf Club finally opened its doors to female membership after years of growing controversy over it being a male-only club.

In 2019, the home of the Masters will open its doors to a major women’s golf competition announced new Masters and Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley today. In a surprise announcement that the club is establishing the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship. The three-day, 54-hole event will conclude with the final round taking place at Augusta National on April 6, 2019. The first two rounds will be at Champions Retreat Golf Club in nearby Evans, Georgia.

“We are always looking for new ways to benefit and impact the game,” Ridley said. “We start with the premise and reality that we are very blessed to have the resources to do that. I met with senior staff in October and said I thought this was the right time to do this, the right time for the women’s game. I wanted to do this and I wanted to do it here.”

The tournament will begin with a field of 72 players. After a 36-hole cut, 30 players will advance to the final round at Augusta National. Players will qualify by winning a number of other major amateur events, world ranking and invitations made by the tournament committee.

“I think this is fantastic for women’s golf,” said Annika Sorenstam, a 10-time major championship winner and competitor in the PGA Tour’s 2003 Colonial tournament. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Sorenstam attended Wednesday’s announcement, as did former Secretary of State and Augusta National member Condoleezza Rice.

“I was thrilled when he mentioned it” Rice said. “It’s a completely appropriate and great idea to advance women’s golf.”

To date, the only competition for women of any kind at Augusta National has been the the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. It began in 2014 and allows boys and girls ages 7-15 to compete at the club’s practice facility and 18th hole.

That event, taking place the Sunday before the final round of the Masters, has become the kickoff to Masters week. Now this women’s amateur will mark an even earlier beginning.

 

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