Strong Asia-Pacific Contingent Set for Augusta

Japan’s Mamika Shinchi (far left), Indian Avani Prashanth (second left), Thai Eila Galitsky (second right) and Korean Kim Min-sol (far right) are among the Asia-Pacific contingent heading to Augusta. Picture by The R&A.

Singapore: Wu Chun-wei will be part of a powerful 16-strong Asia-Pacific contingent at the fifth edition of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA).

Chinese Taipei’s Wu, 109th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), earned her invitation to the April showpiece thanks to her wire-to-wire victory in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) in Thailand a fortnight ago.

In Augusta, she will be joined by Thailand’s Eila Galitsky, the 2023 WAAP winner, and three members of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation team at last year’s Solheim Cup-style Patsy Hankins Trophy – Australian Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Indian Avani Prashanth and Korean Kim Min-sol. Hinson-Tolchard is 22nd in the WAGR with Prashanth 39th and Kim fourth.

Malaysian Mirabel Ting (31st in the WAGR) and Rianne Malixi of the Philippines (37th), will also be seeking success, along with nine Japanese players, including Tsubasa Kajitani, who triumphed in the second edition of the ANWA in 2021. Since then her fortunes have waned and she’s currently 2.121st in the WAGR.

Her eight compatriots are all in the top 58 – Yuna Araki (ninth), Kokoro Nakamura (23rd), Hinano Muguruma (24th), Mamiki Shinchi (32nd), Sayaka Teraoka (34th), Saori Iijima (44th), Suzuna Yokoyama (46th) and Rin Yoshida (58th).

Each of the top 43 eligible amateurs in the final WAGR of 2023 have accepted invitations to participate. 

Players representing 18 countries and six continents will compete, including two of the last three champions, Kajitani (2021) and American Anna Davis (2022), along with top-ranked amateur and three-time participant Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden. 

Beginning the week prior to the 88th Masters Tournament, the international field will compete across 54 holes of stroke play, with a cut to 30 players and ties taking place after 36 holes.

The first two rounds will take place on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club (April 3-4). The entire field will then play Augusta National for an official practice round on April 5. The final round, featuring competitors who made the cut, will take place on Saturday, April 6 at Augusta National.

The first and second rounds of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be broadcast live on Golf Channel from Champions Retreat Golf Club. NBC Sports will produce and broadcast three hours of live final-round coverage of the event at Augusta National. 

Additionally, Golf Channel’s ‘Live From the Masters’ will commence on April 5 to provide coverage of the ANWA, the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals and the Masters Tournament.

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which has hosted the top women amateurs in golf since 2019, will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2024. The inaugural edition of the ANWA was won by future Major champion Jennifer Kupcho in 2019, while the 2020 championship was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kajitani kick-started a historic April in 2021, capturing the first title for Japan at Augusta National eight days prior to Hideki Matsuyama’s win at the Masters Tournament. 

In 2022, 16-year-old Davis became the event’s youngest winner after a final-round 69. The fourth edition in 2023 provided another compelling storyline as Rose Zhang, the top-ranked amateur in the world for nearly three years, put a bow on her amateur career with a play-off victory at Augusta National.

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