Asian Amateur Championship Created

The Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament, and the R&A have announced the creation of the Asian Amateur Championship. The tournament is a move by the partnership to promote golf in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Masters and R&A will financially underwrite and provide support to the APGC in running the event. In addition, the winner will receive an invitation to play in the 2010 Masters, and, along with the runner-up, will earn a place in International Final Qualifying for the 139th Open Championship next year at St. Andrews.

"Golf continues to grow in this region and what better way to stimulate that growth than to enter into this groundbreaking agreement with the Masters and the R&A," said Tommy Lee, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. "This is an exciting partnership for golf in Asia-Pacific and the APGC is proud of its new affiliation. This initiative will help bring the game to new audiences in Asia-Pacific and will give aspiring amateur golfers a special opportunity in the game."

Billy Payne, chairman of the Masters Tournament, added: "We are extremely proud to announce that the winner of the Asian Amateur Championship will receive an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament. This is an extension of the initiative we announced last April regarding the use of the Masters name, and reputation, to help grow the game of golf around the world."

The R&A's chief executive, Peter Dawson, said, "Throughout our 250-year history, the R&A has worked hard to act in the best interests of the game of golf. The potential to grow the game in Asia-Pacific is very large and the creation of this championship represents a wonderful opportunity to see the region's talent flourish.

"The R&A is delighted to partner with the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation and the Masters Tournament in this important initiative for golf in the Asia-Pacific region."

The inaugural Asian Amateur Championship will be held at Mission Hills Golf Club's World Cup Course October 29-November 1 of this year. In future years the event will be played in other countries affiliated with the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, with the 2010 event scheduled for Japan.

Championship Format

The inaugural Asian Amateur Championship will have a maximum field of 120 amateur players. The field will be selected by the following criteria:

1. The two top-ranked amateur players from each of the APGC member countries plus the four top-ranked players from the host country, as ranked on the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) as of August 14, 2009. If there aren't a sufficient number of players ranked from that member country, it may nominate a player(s) from their country with an established handicap of less than 5.4, to be approved by the APGC, to fulfill the two positions.

2. The remainder of the field will be filled taking the next highest-ranked players of APGC member countries, not otherwise qualified from the WAGR as of August 14. The maximum number of eligible players from any APGC member country, with the exception of the host country, will be six.

3. The AAC reserves the right to invite additional players at its discretion.

Asia Pacific Golf Confederation

The APGC is the representative body for 32 national golf associations throughout Asia-Pacific, operating from its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. With approximately 18 million golfers and 4,000 golf courses, the Asia-Pacific region is growing at a considerable rate. The APGC assists member organizations in the development of golf in their respective countries, works to ensure adherence to the Rules of Golf as approved by the R&A, and partners with the International Golf Federation in the promotion of golf.