The inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur will be televised by NBC Sports and ticket applications are now being accepted.
Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament announced details Wednesday morning about their latest initiative to grow the game. Club and tournament chairman Fred Ridley announced in April that the event would be held on the eve of the 2019 Masters.
“Since the announcement of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April, we have remained determined to organize a competition that will provide a meaningful impact on the development of the women’s game,” Ridley said in a prepared statement. “While we aim to stage a first-class championship, our motivation goes beyond the scores posted between the ropes. By providing this opportunity and shining a brighter light on this important segment of the sport, we expect role models to emerge who will help inspire a new generation of golfers.”
The 54-hole tournament will have an international field of 72 players, with a cut taking place after 36 holes. The first two rounds will take place on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans on Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4. The Island nine was designed by four-time Masters winner Arnold Palmer and the Bluff nine was designed by six-time winner Jack Nicklaus.
The entire field will then play Augusta National for an official practice round Friday, April 5. The final round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 6 and will feature the top 30 players and ties who made the cut.
A handful of players have already secured invitations by winning major women's amateur events this summer.
Annika Sorenstam, a 10-time major winner on the LPGA, said in a phone interview with Golf Channel's Morning Drive show that she thinks the new event will have a big impact.
"We know how well Augusta National does things, it's first class," she said. "Look at the Drive, Chip and Putt. Look at the impact of that. I think we'll see the same thing. It's going to be fun to watch."
Five presenting sponsors have been secured for the event: AT&T, Bank of America, IBM, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex.
Ticket applications are now available for those interested in attending any of the championship via www.ANWAgolf.com, the event’s official website. Tickets will be sold in advance, but only after an online application is submitted. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30. All applicants will be notified in late October when the selection process is complete.
Tickets to the final round at Augusta National will cost $75. Tickets to the first two rounds at Champions Retreat will be free, but must be obtained through the application process. There's a maximum of two tickets per applicant per day.
NBC, which has never televised the Masters, will broadcast the final round of the women's event from Augusta National from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.
"The Augusta National Women’s Amateur will inspire young players with the chance to win a prestigious championship that’ll be contested by the best in the world – their peers – at Augusta National," said NBC's Mike Tirico, who will serve as host for the network's coverage. "I’m sure there are lots of young ladies who will have this as a dream destination when they’re practicing on those early mornings and late evenings.”
Golf Channel will deliver highlights, live reports and news coverage throughout the event, including onsite during the first two competitive rounds at Champions Retreat. Additionally, Golf Channel’s “Live From the Masters” will begin Friday, April 5 from Augusta National and wrap ANWA coverage on Saturday, April 6 and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday, April 7.
The Masters will be played April 11-14.