Top amateur golf moments of 2018, No. 24: A major is born
- Women's Asia Pacific photo
- Women's Asia Pacific photo

At, we admit to loving the amateur sector of this game for the stories, the depth of the players, the remarkable courses, the history of the tournaments and the sheer love of the game displayed by amateur golfers. As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve gathered the year’s best stories for a countdown to the end of the season. Be sure to come back each day to relive the moments that made amateur golf great this year.

Click here to see the whole list as it is revealed

Any time a major opportunity is created for amateur players around the globe, it’s a big deal. Think the Asia-Pacific Amateur and the Latin America Amateur, two events that have been created within the past decade that open up worldwide exposure for the field and offer a Masters invitation for the winner.

Because there are generally fewer of these opportunities for female amateurs, the creation of the Women’s Asia-Pacific Amateur was a really big deal. The stated goal of the championship, one developed by the R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, was to “unearth emerging talent and provide a pathway for Asia’s elite female amateurs to the international stage.”

Invitations to two majors -- the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the ANA Inspiration – as well as the HSBC Women’s World Championship were on the line for this year’s inaugural event. This spring, the creation of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (into which the winner is also exempt), created an even bigger perk.

Atthaya Thitikul
The championship itself, hosted at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club (which also hosted this year’s Asia-Pacific Men’s Amateur), provided excellent theater. Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul won wire-to-wire, but only after going three extra holes with three other players. Thitikul has the distinction of being the youngest-ever winner on the Ladies European Tour, having won the 2017 Ladies European Thailand Championship as a 14-year-old.

“I’m so excited because this is the first year of this championship. It’s so great that my name is the first one on the trophy,” said Thitikul, who played in her first LPGA event at the Honda LPGA Thailand last February, months before winning on the LET.

Thitikul started the event ranked No. 53 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking but is now ranked No. 8. She was low amateur at the ANA Inspiration and the only amateur who made the cut at the Women’s British Open. Clearly a worthy champion.

And it’s a worthy initiative, considering that golf has been booming in Asia over the past two decades, and it seems to be continuing. According to the R&A’s 2017 Golf Around the World report, 32 percent of the world’s golf development projects are in Asia.

Here’s hoping just as many women frequent them as men.

ABOUT THE Women's Asia-Pacific Amateur

The inaugural Women's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship was played in 2018.

It is played over 72-holes stroke play with the field to comprise 86 players. Players are eligible based on their R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking.

It is conducted by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.

The winner receives an invitation to play in the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the ANA Inspiration.

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