Augusta National to host amateur women's tournament

Augusta (United States) (AFP) –


Augusta National, the iconic venue that hosts the Masters but didn't allow women members until 2012, is launching a women's amateur tournament, chairman Fred Ridley said Wednesday.

Ridley said the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship will feature 72 players. The inaugural edition in 2019 will be a 54-hole stroke play event, with the first two rounds held at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta.

After a cut to the low 30 scores, the final competitive round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday April 6 -- the Saturday before the Masters begins.

Ridley, who succeeded Billy Payne as chairman of Augusta National in October, spoke at the traditional chairman's press conference on the eve of the Masters.

The timing of the tournament could present some of the world's best women amateurs with a dilemma, since the first major championship of the LPGA season, the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills in Rancho, Mirage, California, is traditionally played the week before the Masters.