by Amateur Asia Pacific for women
Reigning champion Atthaya Thithikul returns to defend her title
Image: Amateur-Asia-Pacific for women
Defending champion Atthaya Thithikul will lead a large number of emerging stars from the region when the second edition of the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) is played at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, from April 25-28.
At number eight in the world Amateur Golf Ranking, Thithikul of Thailand will also be the highest ranked player in the field with 80 players from 20 Asian and Pacific countries.
Besides Thithikul, two of the other three players involved in the exciting play-off that decided last year the Singaporean champion – Yuka Saso of the Philippines and Yuna Nishimura of Japan – have also committed to the championship.
The 17-year-old ruling Asian Games champion Saso, together with her namesake from Japan, Yuka Yasuda, are the next two highest ranked players – respectively at number 34 and 17.
The field consists of 15 players within the top 100 of the WAGR. The largest contingent is eight players from host country Japan, while there are players representing countries such as Bangladesh, Guam, Vietnam, Iran and the Cook Islands – countries where the ladies' game is still in its infancy.
The champion of The Royal Golf Club deserves a place in two of the five major women's championships – the AIG Women & # 39; s British Open and the Evian Championship. She also receives an invitation for the 2020 Women & # 39; s Amateur from 2020.
Thithikul, who wrote history in July 2017 when she became the youngest winner on the Ladies European Tour at the age of 14 during the Thailand Championship, enjoyed a phenomenal year as the WAAP champion. She was the leading amateur during the 2018 Women's British Open and ANA Inspiration and was ranked eighth in the HSBC Women's World Championship (the three places she won as the winner of the inaugural WAAP).
"I am so keen to play the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific again, and this year I want to enjoy every moment of the championship and do my best, I'm really looking forward to it", said Atthaya, who on Wednesday February 20 th.
"It means so much for me to have won WAAP last year, giving me invitations to many big tournaments and I feel like it has been a huge learning experience for me to become a professional golfer."
Kei Muratsu, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, said: "Once again, we have the leading amateurs from this region participating in the championship and the quality of the field shows how important the championship for women in Asia and the Pacific in Asia has already become within just a year of its creation.
"We are looking forward to welcoming all our participants to Japan and do not doubt that they will put on an impressive show like last year in Singapore."