Loy set to participate in historic Augusta National meet

Mike Casper|TCH
Loy Hee Ying is one of eight Committee picks for the prestigious championship

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s top-ranked women amateur Loy Hee Ying will join the ranks of golf’s elite when she tees off at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA) in early April.

Ranked inside the top-150 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), Loy received one of eight special invitations handed out by the tournament committee for the ground-breaking championship that will take place from April 3-6.

The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) senior received the good news via phone from the site of The Masters Tournament.

“It’s amazing to be recognized this way,” said Loy in an interview with the ETSU Bucs Athletics. “It was a very memorable phone call from Augusta, really unexpected and surprising, but I’m excited to have this opportunity. It’s going to be the biggest tournament that I’ve ever played in.”

The 21-year-old will play three college tournaments before heading off to Augusta, has a chance to break ETSU’s career stroke average record.“I have a couple of critical months to prepare for it,” added the proud Johorean. “I’m very excited.”

Staged the weekend prior to The Masters, the 54-hole event will feature the top names in women’s amateur golf with automatic invitations to the winners of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur (Kristen Gillman), the Ladies’ British Open Amateur (Leonie Harm), Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (Atthaya Thitikul), U.S. Girls’ Junior and Girls Junior PGA (Yealimi Noh) and the Girls’ British Open Amateur (Emma Spitz).

The final 2018 World Amateur Golf Ranking was used to fill the next 60 spots – with the top-30 players from the United States (not otherwise qualified) securing their starts, followed by invitations for 30 of the highest-ranked international players.

Staged the week before The Masters Tournament, the championship will be conducted over 54 holes of stroke play, with a cut to 30 players taking place after 36 holes.

The first two rounds will take place on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club Wednesday (April 3) and Thursday (April 4).

In a unique twist, the entire 72-player field will then play an official practice round at Augusta National on Friday (April 5) before the final round on Saturday (April 6).

“Receiving an invitation to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is representative of a remarkable amateur career, and so much more,” said Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament chairman Fred Ridley.

“We share in the excitement of the players, not only for what will unfold in April but also for what their involvement will mean to increase interest in the women’s game.”