From left: Minori Nagano, Rina Tatematsu, Hamda Al Suwadi, Xiaowen Yin, Natasha Andrea and Youmin Hwang pose for a picture at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
South Korea’s Youmin Hwang and China’s Xiaowen Yin lead a strong field as the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship (WAAP) gets underway at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Wednesday, with four local golfers also hoping for glory as they represent the UAE in one of the most important tournament s on the calendar for players in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hwang and Yin, the fourth and seventh ranked players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, will feature in the third edition of the championship organised by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), while the hosts will be represented by UAE national team regulars Alia Al Emadi and Hamda Al Suwaidi, as well as India’s Natalii Gupta and Hannah Cheryl Alan, who have been nominated by Emirates Golf Federation.
All will be battling it out for an important win which would secure places in three major championships — the AIG Women’s Open, The Amundi Evian Championship and the Hana Financial Group Championship, as well as an invitation to play in the prestigious Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
A total of 78 players from 24 APGC nations are taking part this week.
The championship was won in its inaugural year by Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, who is currently leading the LET’s Race to Costa Del Sol ranking, and by Japan’s Yuka Yasuda in 2019, while Yuka Saso of the Philippines and Thailand’s Patty Tavanakit both became major winners this year after playing the inaugural WAAP in Singapore.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive at The R&A, said, “Our aims for this championship are to provide a platform for talented players and, in many cases, aspiring professionals to shine while also inspiring emerging players to learn to compete at the highest level.”
Taimur Hassan, chairman of APGC, added, “Over the years, our women players have led the way in major professional championships or global amateur events. We had a wonderful week with our men’s event in Dubai last week and we hope to continue the same at the fantastic Abu Dhabi Golf Club with our leading women golfers. With the help of the Emirates Golf Federation we are able to host this wonderful championship once again.”
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