Augusta, United States: Seventy-two of the game’s best women amateur golfers from around the world will be invited to compete in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Championship.
“This is my 42nd Masters and I hope this (announcement) has added a little bit of excitement to this week,” said Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley.
The new event’s first 36 holes will be played at the nearby Champions Retreat Golf Club with the concluding 18 holes on Saturday prior to Masters week at Augusta National.
The winner will get a spot in the US and British national championships as well as a host of elite amateur events.
Annika Sorenstam, one of the all-time great female players, said: “A lot of golfers around the world are dreaming about the opportunity to play at Augusta National.
“This is happening for the best upcoming young female golfers. It doesn’t get much better than that. It’s historic. This is fantastic.”
An Augusta spokesperson said: “From the Latin America and Asia Pacific amateur championships to Drive, Chip and Putt, this new event continues Augusta National’s robust and serious commitment to the growth of the game.”
Ridley added: “We are always looking for new ways to benefit and impact the game and we start with the premise and the reality that we are very blessed to have the resources to do that.
“It’s been a consistent theme and part of our culture that we have an obligation to give back to the game.”