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Exemption into British Open for 2017 Asia-Pacific Amateur winner
(Asia-Pacific Amateur Photo)
(Asia-Pacific Amateur Photo)
(January 19, 2017) -- The winner of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) will take their place in golf's most international major championship when they receive an exemption into the 147th British Open at Carnoustie.

The winner will become the first champion in the history of the AAC to receive the exemption to play in the British 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 British Amateur Championship, the European Amateur Championship and the U.S. 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 British 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 British 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 British 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.

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 Rankings, from 40 APGC affiliated organizations 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 U.S. 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 British Open.”

The 2017 AAC will take place at Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand from October 26-29.

ABOUT THE Asia-Pacific Amateur

The Asian-Pacific Amateur (formerly known as the Asian Amateur) is the first of a series of worldwide championships put together by a between the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A. The event offers the winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The champion and runner(s)-up earn spots in The Open Qualifying Series for The Open. The event has historically moved throughout the region and has now been held in China (2009, 2013), Japan (2010), Singapore (2011), Thailand (2012), Australia (2014) and Hong Kong (2015).

A field, topping out at 120 players, is selected by the following criteria.

The top two ranked amateur players from each of the APGC member countries plus the four top ranked players from the host country. If there is not a sufficient number of players ranked from that member country, the member country may nominate a player(s) from their country, to be approved by the APGC, to fulfill the two positions eligible from that country.

The remainder of the field will be filled taking the next highest ranked players of APGC member countries, not otherwise qualified. The maximum number of eligible players from any APGC member country (with the exception of the host country) is six. Additional players may be offered at the event's discretion.

FUTURE SITES:
The ninth edition of the event will be held in New Zealand where it will be staged by Royal Wellington Golf Club from 26 – 29 October, 2017. It will be the first time the championship is held in New Zealand.

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