Golf in the UAE has received another major boost after the R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) announced that the 2021 Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship will be staged at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 10-13 November.
The announcement follows on from last month’s news that Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club will host this year’s Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, where the region’s best male amateur golfers will go head-to-head for a spot in the Masters Tournament and Open Championship
The WAAP, won by home favourite Yuka Yasuda of Japan in 2019, makes a return to the international golf schedule for the first time since the global pandemic interrupted golf championships around the world.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive at The R&A, said, “After the disruption caused by the pandemic over the last 18 months we are excited to be staging the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship at such a fantastic venue in Abu Dhabi. It is more important than ever to provide opportunities for elite women amateurs to compete in Asia-Pacific and we look forward to another thrilling championship in November.”
Taimur Hassan Amin, Chairman of the APGC said, “The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship has been a wonderful addition to the APGC’s golfing calendar and we very much look forward to welcoming it back to the schedule following last year’s postponement due to Covid-19. Not only does the WAAP present our leading female players the chance to compete against their peers but it also acts as an inspiration for all up-and-coming golfers.
“This year’s historic win at the US Women’s Open by Yuka Saso, joint runner-up in the inaugural WAAP, served to underline the importance of this championship as a platform for the game’s development and rising talent in the region.”
“As a member of the APGC we are delighted to welcome this prestigious championship to the UAE for the first time. It has given us great joy to see two Major winners emerge from this championship and we look forward to hosting these talented amateurs at one of our finest courses. It is an honour to support the APGC and The R&A to advance our shared mission of driving golf’s growth and development.” – His Excellency Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation
The Peter Harradine-designed course opened in 1998 complete with saltwater lakes, ornamental trees and palms along with lush playing surfaces, bold strategic bunkering and large greens making this championship course an excellent test for Asia’s best women golfers.
The famed National Course at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club has hosted European Tour events since 2006 boasting the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods amongst others.
Mr Andrea Faldella, Club Operations Manager at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club said, “The Abu Dhabi Golf Club is honoured to be invited by the APGC and The R&A to stage the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship. The National Course will be a tough test for the players, with each hole offering a unique layout of risk and reward opportunities. We look forward to hosting a safe and successful championship and helping The R&A, APGC and EGF to grow the game in the region.”
Just three years after the inaugural WAAP, two players from that first field have gone on to the highest echelons of the sport by becoming Major Champions. 21-year-old Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand claimed victory at the ANA Inspiration in April and 19-year-old Yuka Saso of the Philippines won the US Women’s Open in June to become the first player from the Philippines, male or female, to win a Major.
Atthaya Thitikul, the first winner of the WAAP in 2018, added “The championship provides the opportunity for the best amateur golfers in the region to play and compete on an amazing stage with the ultimate prize, the opportunity to play in Major Championships, a thrill for any aspiring young golfer.”
The WAAP was developed by The R&A and APGC to unearth emerging talent and provide a pathway for Asia’s elite women amateurs to the international stage. The winner earns invitations to play in the AIG Women’s Open and The Amundi Evian Championship, as well as an invitation to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Rolex, Samsung and Trust Golf.