BANGKOK – Nanshan International Golf Club in China will host the 2013 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship before the event moves to Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia in 2014, organisers announced before this week’s fourth staging of the championship in Thailand.
The annual event is organised by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A, and offers the winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The champion and runner(s)-up earn spots in International Final Qualifying (IFQ) for The Open Championship.
The 279-hole Nanshan International Golf Club in Longkou City, near Yantai in Shandong Province, will host the fifth Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. The event will be played over the 18-hole Danling Garden Course, which staged the US$1 million China Nanshan Masters on OneAsia earlier this month.
“China is an increasingly important player in the world of golf, not only in the region but around the world,” said Hur Kwang-soo, President of the APGC. “Nanshan International Golf Club is one of the country’s most famous and largest golf developments, and plays a big part in developing China’s next generation of golfers. It will provide a perfect stage for Asia-Pacific’s top amateurs in 2013 before Australia hosts the event in 2014.”
Zhang Xiaoning, Vice President and Secretary General of China Golf Association (CGA), was proud that China would be hosting the championship for a second time. Mission Hills in Guangdong province staged the inaugural event in 2009 before it moved to Japan, Singapore and Thailand.
“The CGA is proud that China is the first country to stage the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship for a second time,” Zhang said. “We’re delighted to again cooperate with the APGC, the Masters Tournament and The R&A to put on a great event for the players and officials from across the Asia-Pacific region. They will all be impressed with the Nanshan International Golf Club and the Danling Garden Course, which is part of our CGA-Nanshan International Training Centre.”
The Danling Garden Course earned international headlines earlier this month when it hosted the China Nanshan Masters, as Chinese star Liang Wen-chong beat 2009 PGA Championship winner YE Yang of Korea after a dramatic five-hole playoff.
The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will benefit from the wide range of facilities at the Nanshan International Golf Club, which contains 13 golf clubs and seven hotels. The Danling Garden Course is one of two 18-hole layouts forming part of the CGA-Nanshan International Training Centre, the base for many national junior and amateur programmes.
Song Jianmin, Chairman of Nanshan Group, said: “It’s a great honour to host the fifth Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. Nanshan International Golf Club is a world-class development that is helping develop China’s rising stars and will now help in the growth of amateurs across the region.
“We have hosted many local tournaments and more recently, world-class professional events. We have already been preparing our Danling Garden Course for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and will ensure all our visitors enjoy the standards enjoyed by the professionals.”
Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Victoria, which staged last year’s Presidents Cup, will host the sixth Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, marking the first time the event has visited Australia.
John Hopkins, Chairman of Golf Australia, said the 2014 event would help expand the profile of the championship.
“The 2014 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will mark a new chapter for the event as it visits our region for the first time,” Hopkins said. “Australia has a proud history of hosting amateur and professional events, and Australians will come out in force to watch the top golfers from all across the Asia-Pacific region. The players can be assured of playing at one of the country’s best and most famous golf clubs.”
The historic 36-hole club, founded in 1891, has hosted this year’s Women’s Australian Open, the Presidents Cup match between USA and the Internationals in 1998 and 2011, and the World Cup in 1959, 1972 and 1988. The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will be held over the Composite Course.
Richard Allen, Captain of Royal Melbourne Golf Club, said: “Royal Melbourne has great experience of hosting events, from club competitions to the world’s top tournaments featuring the biggest stars in the game. We’re proud to host the 2014 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and would like to extend an early warm welcome to players, staff and officials for what will be a special week.”
This week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will feature 120 players from the APGC’s 36 member associations. Television coverage will include two hours of live broadcast on each of the four days and a 30-minute highlights show, and will be aired in more than 150 countries, confirming it as the world’s most televised amateur golf tournament.
The Danling Garden Course at Nanshan International Golf Club in China will host the fifth Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2013. Photo: Paul Lakatos/OneAsia.