Female golfers from all over the world have committed to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and 66 of 72 players have confirmed they will participate in the inaugural event scheduled for April 3-6.
Invitations were sent out earlier this month and the field is nearly full, according to a release from Augusta National Golf Club.
“Receiving an invitation to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is representative of a remarkable amateur career, and so much more,” said Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament. “We share in the excitement of the players, not only for what will unfold in April, but also for what their involvement will mean to increasing interest in the women’s game.”
Invitations were sent to winners of major women’s amateur golf tournaments and top players based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking at the end of the 2018 calendar year. The field’s remaining spots will be filled by special invitation from the ANWA Championship Committee.
Lucy Li, who won her age division at the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National in 2014, received an invitation as one of the highest-ranked amateurs.
The California teen accepted the invitation, but she put her amateur status in jeopardy earlier this month by appearing in a video promoting the Apple Watch. Officials from the USGA, the game’s governing body in North America, are aware of Li’s actions but have not issued a ruling.
Like many others who received invitations, Li took to Twitter to show her invitation and express her thanks.
"Feels so surreal... Thanks @anwagolf for making my dreams, and the dreams of girls all around the world come true!," Li tweeted.
Among the top players who have accepted invitations are Leonie Harm (Germany), Ladies’ British Open Amateur Champion; Atthaya Thitikul (Thailand), Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Champion; and Emma Spitz (Austria), Girls’ British Open Amateur Champion. American Jennifer Kupcho, a senior at Wake Forest and the reigning NCAA champion, is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 2 in the rankings.
Some players, such as U.S. Women's Amateur champion Kristen Gillman, would have received invitations but elected to turn pro before the event.
The event will have an international flavor with more than half of the field coming from outside the United States. Eight players received special invitations from the tournament committee.
The 54-hole tournament will have a cut taking place after 36 holes. The first two rounds will be played 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.
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.
Tickets to the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur are sold out following an online ticket application process. No tickets will be available at the gates.