Wall Hails Impact of Women’s Championship

The par-five 18th hole of the New Courser at Singapore Island Country Club, venue for the fifth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific. Picture by Andrew Redington/R&A via Getty Images.

Singapore: Dominic Wall has hailed the positive impact of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) on the game across the region.

Developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation to nurture talent and provide a pathway for the region’s elite women amateurs to the international stage, the event has surpassed expectations in a short space of time.

Reflecting on the success of the fifth edition of the WAAP at Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) a fortnight ago, Wall, Director – Asia-Pacific, The R&A, said the elite championship was helping to grow the game.

Wall said: “You just have to look at some of the players, from Atthaya Thitikul to Yuka Saso and Patty Tavatanakit, and see what they’ve done in terms of winning Majors, being number one in the world; players winning medals at the Olympics. In such a short period of time that’s been great.

“Another pleasing part is the other developing countries that are coming into this. Our conditions for the WAAP are that you have to have players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. So, we’re trying to encourage countries within the region to develop programmes and develop their players.

“This year, for example, we had players from Lebanon and Qatar for the first time coming into this event. So, there’s a depth that’s growing within the region – not only at the top, top level but also among all the developing countries. That’s really been pleasing from our point of view.”

Wall also had praise for the SICC, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

He said: “It’s just a wonderful venue. It was great to be able to come back – we were here in 2011 for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (won by Hideki Matsuyama).

“To be able to come back with the newly-renovated New Course was tremendous. The course was in great condition and the good thing about coming here, too, is that it showcases a different aspect of Singapore.

“Many of the courses in Singapore are by the coast. This is in the middle of Singapore, next to the reservoir and close to the Botanical Gardens and the bush. It’s a really outstanding venue. They did a great job in terms of getting the course ready and the hospitality was great.

“For us to bring the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific to a venue, we need to know it’s world-class and we get the support, and it certainly ticks all those boxes.”

Wall expressed similar sentiments about Thailand’s Siam Country Club, which has been named as host venue for 2024.

“We’re going back to where we were in 2022 – Siam Country Club’s Waterside Course in Pattaya. It’s a great venue. We had a wonderful championship there last year. Everything went well – great course, great venue, great hospitality.

Dominic Wall.

“Dr Phornthep Phornprapha and his team at Siam Country Club wanted us to come back. It’s good to go to Thailand. People really enjoyed it there.

“So, from our point of view it made a lot of sense to go back there and we’re looking forward to that being the first time ever that we’ve gone back to a venue with the WAAP.”

As a result of her win at the SICC, Thailand’s Eila Galitsky has earned starts in three professional Majors this year – AIG Women’s Open, The Amundi Evian Championship and The Chevron Championship – as well as the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS Handa Australian Open, The 120th Women’s Amateur Championship and next week’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

*Full interview with Dominic Wall can be viewed at https://www.apgc.online/waap-reflections-with-the-ras-dominic-wall

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