Field finalised for Asian Amateur Championship

The Asian Amateur Championship, organised by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the Masters Tournament and The R&A, today released its final 2011 Championship field, which includes the top male amateur golfers from 35 APGC member nations and territories.

A 120-player field will compete in the 72-hole stroke play event from September 29 – October 2 on the New Course at The Singapore Island Country Club. An invitation to play in the 2012 Masters Tournament awaits the winner, while both the winner and the runner(s)-up will earn a place in International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship next year.

Among the leading contenders for the championship is 2010 Asian Amateur Champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan. Currently ranked No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), he returns after a triumphant Masters Tournament that saw him win the coveted Silver Cup as the highest placed amateur who made the cut. His tie for 27th at Augusta National Golf Club left him impressively alongside 2010 Masters champion Phil Mickelson come Tournament’s end.

Making his third appearance at the tournament is 2009 runner-up Eric Chun, who brings a wealth of experience with him after he made it through International Final Qualifying for The Open to earn a place at St Andrews in 2010.

Singapore is well represented in the field with 10 players, including top ranked amateurs Joshua Shou and Lam Zhiqun. Lam won this year’s Singapore National Amateur Championship and Shou goes into the tournament as the Johor Amateur Open champion.

Another player for home fans to watch is 16-year-old Marc Ong, who won last year’s HSBC Youth Golf Challenge. His good form has continued in 2011 with a runner-up spot at the Vietnam Amateur Open and earlier this month he helped Singapore win the Putra Cup at the South-East Asian Amateur Golf Team Championship.

The Singapore squad also includes Johnson Poh, Gregory Foo, Tze Huang Choo, Melvin Chew, Jerome Ng, George Foo and Joshua Ho.

Others to watch include world number 46 and Australian Amateur Champion Matthew Stieger. The New South Wales native also won this year’s Tote Tasmanian Open Championship. His fellow countryman Jake Higginbottom, world number 39, has also enjoyed a good 2011, winning both the Keppera Bowl and the Queensland Amateur Championship.

A strong New Zealand squad includes the second highest ranked player in the field, world number 21 Ryan Fox. The reigning New Zealand Strokeplay Champion is joined by Jake Higginbottom, number 39, and Ben Campbell, number 44, who came fourth at last year’s Asian Amateur Championship.

Kwangsoo Hur, President of the APGC, said: “Our previous two Asian Amateur Championships have been a wonderful success and provided an outstanding showcase for the region’s best amateur golfers. I am delighted that this year sees the biggest field we have ever had with 120 of Asia’s finest players competing. There is no doubt that the rewards provided through the support of Masters Tournament and The R&A will not only benefit our 2011 field, but will inspire the next generation to strive to reach this level.”

Asian Tour Media will produce the world feed that will be distributed in high-definition to ESPN-Star (Asia), ONE HD (Australia), Tokyo Broadcasting System (Japan), ESPN2 (United States), TSN (Canada), ESPN Latin America, Fox Sports (Middle East), Sky Sports (New Zealand), SuperSport (Africa), Sky Sports (UK) and CNBC Europe, with broadcast schedules varying by market.  Bill Macatee, who is part of the Masters Tournament commentator team, and ESPN-Star’s Dom Boulet will act as the on-site, English-speaking announcers, along with Darren Carroll, who will be the on-course commentator during the live telecast.

2011 Asian Amateur Championship Field Fast Facts

·         35 out of the 36 APGC Member Countries are represented. A record.

·         A record 120 players will compete this week. That compares with 116 in 2009 and 118 last year.

·         First time countries participating include: Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macau, Solomon Islands and Qatar.

·         96 Players in the field have an official World Amateur Golf Ranking.

·         Father and son Taimur and Hamza Amin will both represent Pakistan for the second year in a row.

To view the complete field for the Championship, click here.

Click here to view the tee times.