Augusta National to host new amateur women's championship

The tournament will see the best 72 amateur players in the world compete at Augusta next year in the week before the Masters.

An worldwide field of 72 women amateurs will compete over 54-holes of stroke play.

Masters chairman Fred Ridley announced the tournament Wednesday, calling it a move to help grow the game of golf.

"I accept the responsibility with humility, with a determination to pursue the principles established by our founders and I believe fully prepared to lead this organization as we explore new and impactful ways to impact the game of golf".

The Masters also hosts a youth putt, chip and drive contest on the Sunday before the Masters.

While the tournament will be three rounds, just the final round will take place at Augusta while the first two rounds will happen at the Champions Retreat Golf Club outside Augusta.

The final round, featuring the top-30 players, will take place at Augusta National on the Saturday before the Masters gets under way in 2019.

The event is expected to be televised and daily tickets will be made available through a random selection process to be announced later.

It reflects a dramatic change in tone for the club that was roiled in controversy and targeted for a protest 15 years ago over its since-abandoned policy of excluding women members. The tournament took the extraordinary step of foregoing commercial sponsorship after Burk called for a boycott of the tournament's sponsors.

One of the first women to be admitted as a member of the club was former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "I just felt it was time to do that". "They will be so excited. But we do not think that additional length should be the immediate or only reaction to what we continue to observe at the Masters".

"When I think of Bobby Jones, the great amateur. the great amateurs who have played here". By extending this to LPGA golfers and have a Ladies Masters a week or so before or after the men's tournament, it would be a great way to introduce many people to women's golf and really become a catalyst to making golf, and especially women's golf, an even stronger sport.

  • Rosalie Stanley