The winner will become the first champion in the history of the AAC to receive the exemption to play in The Open in 2018. The region’s flagship amateur championship also offers the winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament.
The AAC now becomes one of four elite amateur events, alongside The Amateur Championship, the European Amateur Championship and the US Amateur Championship, to offer the world’s most talented amateur golfers the opportunity to qualify for The Open.
“We are delighted to offer a place in The Open for the winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and look forward to welcoming this year’s champion to Carnoustie in 2018”, said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A.
“The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events which is contested by the game’s greatest players. There is a strong tradition of amateurs competing in The Open and this new exemption for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship offers a major added incentive for the leading amateurs throughout that region.”
Since 2009, the AAC has been conducted in partnership between the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A with the winner earning an invitation to the Masters the following year.
Initially inaugurated to grow and develop golf in the Asia-Pacific region, the championship has now evolved to feature 120 of the region’s leading amateur golfers, according to the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™, from 40 APGC affiliated organisations each year.
Notable winners of the AAC include 2010 and 2011 champion Hideki Matsuyama, who has since won three times on the PGA Tour including the 2016 WGC-HSBC Champions tournament, and current champion Curtis Luck, who also won the US Amateur and the Western Australian Open in 2016.
Dominic Wall, Director – Asia-Pacific at The R&A, added, "The R&A is committed to developing and enhancing the status of amateur golf throughout Asia-Pacific. The exemption for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will provide a fantastic opportunity for talented amateur golfers from this part of the world to qualify for The Open.”
The 2017 AAC will take place at Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand from 26 – 29 October.