The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship (WAAP) returns to Singapore, the place where it all began, with its strongest field yet, including ten of the top-50 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR) confirmed for the fifth edition.
As many as 82 players from 21 Asia-Pacific countries will be in action in Asia’s premier women’s amateur championship, scheduled to be played at the Singapore Island Country Club from 9-12 March this year.
This is the second time Singapore has hosted the championship. In 2018, the island nation hosted the inaugural edition, which was won by Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, who has since progressed to reach number one in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and is currently number four.
Among the players who have confirmed their participation are two past champions – Japan’s Mizuki Hashimoto, who won the 2021 championship in Abu Dhabi, and the defending champion Chinese Taipei’s Ting-Hsuan Huang, who prevailed over Thai favourite Natthakritta Vongtaveelap in a tense finish last year at Siam Country Club in Pattaya.
Rin Yoshida is the highest ranked player in the field at number four and leads a strong Japanese contingent that includes number five Yuna Araki, number 11 Sayaka Teraoka and number 14 Hashimoto.
Araki is coming off a win at the Women’s Australian Masters of Amateurs in January, while Hashimoto won the Australian Women’s Amateur Championship.
It will be unfinished business for Hashimoto in Singapore, as she looked on course to secure back-to-back wins in Thailand last year. She led the championship deep into the third round but unfortunate mistakes on the back-nine saw her slip out of contention with a third-round 77.
Hashimoto, who was inducted into the Japan National Team after her WAAP win, said: “I wasn’t happy with what happened on Saturday in Thailand. However, I have taken it as a learning experience. It was an important chapter of my career, and I am sure that one loss has probably taught me more than my win in Abu Dhabi.
“I am really looking forward to playing in Singapore and hopefully contending for the title once again. I am in good form and my recent win in Australia has boosted my confidence.”
Host nation Singapore will field the largest team of eight players, including Aloysa Margiela Atienza, Jaymie Ng and Inez Ng.
The WAAP was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers. It provides the champion with an unparalleled launchpad early in their career through exemptions into three major championships – AIG Women’s Open, the Amundi Evian Championship and The Chevron Championship as well as elite championships such as the Hana Financial Group Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said: “Developing women’s golf is a long-standing priority for The R&A and the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship plays a key role in spring boarding elite amateurs in the region.
“In a short space of time we have already seen participants in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship, such as Atthaya Thittikul, Yuka Saso and Patty Tavatanakit, go on to reach the top echelons of the sport and we look forward to seeing new talent emerging at the championship in Singapore this year.”
Taimur Hassan Amin, Chairman of the APGC, said: “The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship has played a very important role ever since it was conceived and put together in 2018. What some of our alumni have gone on to achieve is extraordinary in such a short period of time.
“However, an important part of our job now is to make sure women from a wider range of countries are contending and holding positions at the top of the leader boards. A championship like WAAP is a big motivation and a key element in our strategy as we move forward.”
The championship is moving back to its preferred schedule in March following the last few years of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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 Rolex, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Hana Financial Group and Samsung.