The Founding Partners of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) today confirmed Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Korea and Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand as hosts for the 2016 and 2017 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships, respectively.
The AAC is being played at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club this week and is conducted in partnership between the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A. The event offers the winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The champion and runner(s)-up earn spots in The Open Qualifying Series for The Open.
The event has historically moved throughout the region and has now been held in China (2009, 2013), Japan (2010), Singapore (2011), Thailand (2012), Australia (2014) and Hong Kong (2015).
The 2016 AAC is scheduled for 6 – 9 October and will mark the first time it has been held in South Korea. Having opened in 2010, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club is the upcoming venue for the Presidents Cup next week, marking the first time this international team event has been held in Asia. The course is located in Incheon, within the Songdo International Business District (IBD), which is 40 miles west of Seoul. The course has formerly hosted a Champion’s Tour event, the Shinhan Donghae Open, the Chosunilbo-Posco Championship and the Korea Women’s Open.
Mr. Hyung-Mo Kang, Vice President of the Korea Golf Association, said: “We are honoured and delighted to be given the opportunity to host the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship for the first time next year. Having two AAC champions from Korea go on to compete in the Masters in the past, we have witnessed first-hand how the AAC inspires other players to develop their games and grow their passion for the sport. Staging the championship will do wonders for the sport in our country and we look forward to seeing more youngsters taking up golf as a result.”
Mr. Joon-Hee Lee, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club General Manager, added: “We are very excited to be hosting the top amateur golfers from around the Asia Pacific region next year as they compete for the most coveted amateur title in the region. When Han Chang-won (2009) and Lee Chang-woo (2013) won previously, there was a lot of excitement at home, and we hope that home advantage will spur on our local players. We have a course here at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club we believe is suitable for a championship of this calibre, and we look forward to showcasing its beauty for the enjoyment of the best young golfing talents in Asia in a year’s time.”
In another first for the championship, the ninth edition of the event will be held in New Zealand where it will be staged by Royal Wellington Golf Club from 26 – 29 October, 2017. Royal Wellington was founded in 1895. The course is situated outside New Zealand’s capital city on a parkland site adjacent to the Hutt River. The club has hosted seven New Zealand Open Championships since 1912, and in 2004 became the first golf club in the country to receive Royal status. The course recently underwent a complete redesign, which included the creation of 13 new holes and new greens, tees and bunkers. The new routing resulted in a par-72 course measuring 7,219 yards.
Andrew Meehan, Club Captain of Royal Wellington Golf Club, commented: “We are truly honoured to be chosen as the host venue for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. The event showcases the best in amateur golf in the region and provides a platform for the top talents to compete and motivate one another. Our planning will begin now and we look forward to welcoming all the players to our club and putting on a great event for competitors and spectators alike.”
New Zealand Golf Chairman Paul Fyfe added: “It is wonderful news that the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will be making its debut in New Zealand in 2017. The event is the perfect opportunity for golf fans to witness the future champions of the game, and we believe the excitement it creates will inspire more youngsters in New Zealand to try the sport. It would be wonderful if we see a home talent hold aloft the trophy in Wellington. We look forward to working with the Founding Partners and the Royal Wellington Golf Club to continue the fine traditions of this very special event.”
The seventh edition of the prestigious event teed off today at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club in Hong Kong and features 120 players from APGC’s member associations. Television coverage includes three hours of live broadcast on each of the four days and a 30-minute highlights show, and will be aired in more than 160 countries, confirming it as the world’s most televised amateur golf tournament.
Spectators are encouraged to watch the drama unfold at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. Entry to the 2015 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship is free of charge.