Augusta National to host women's amateur event from 2019
By Keith Jackson at Augusta National
Last Updated: 04/04/18 5:23pm
Augusta National will stage the final round of a new women's amateur tournament the week before the Masters, starting in 2019.
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Fred Ridley made the historic announcement in his first Masters press conference as chairman, and he believes the formation of the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship will help grow the game worldwide.
The 54-hole tournament will feature 72 invitees from around the world, with the first two rounds being played at the nearby Champions Retreat Golf Club before the top 30 advance to the final round at Augusta.
Mr Ridley is confident the inaugural tournament, which concludes on April 6 next year, will break attendance records for any amateur event.
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In a statement issued by Augusta National, Ridley said: "Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts left behind a legacy of always trying to contribute meaningfully to the game of golf.
"The Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship embodies that principle, and we believe this event will have a significant and lasting impact on the future of the women's game.
"Our hope and expectation is that this event will further energize those who already love the sport and inspire others through the dream of competing at Augusta National."
Invitations will be based on the Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking as well as winners of "recognised championships", and the event is expected to be televised and also available on digital platforms worldwide.