Michelle Wie has welcomed news of a new amateur event for women at Augusta National Golf Club, and hopes that it might one day lead to a ladies’ Masters.
The 28-year-old Hawaiian was responding to the announcement that the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship will be played for the first time next April.
A 54-hole event featuring 72 players, the tournament will open with two rounds at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, before the top 30 players proceed to Augusta National for the final round.
Prior to turning professional in 2005, Wie enjoyed a stellar amateur career, winning the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in 2003 in the same year that she became the youngest player to make an LPGA cut at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
She also played in the 2004 Sony Open, becoming the fourth, and youngest, female to participate in a PGA Tour event.
As a result, she’s excited for the current generation of top female amateurs, who will get the chance to play the famous home of the Masters next spring.
“I think it’s a pretty cool idea, although they maybe still need to work out the logistics,” said the former US Women’s Open champ. “To be honest, I was kind of bummed and a little disappointed to hear that only one day would be played at Augusta National. It just seems like a slightly weird format. It would have been nice to see all the days played at Augusta if you’re going to have a tournament there but it’s the first year.
“Hopefully they’ll keep working on the logistics but I think it’s great to open the door and hopefully one day we could have a professional event there. That would be amazing.”
Scottish fans will have the opportunity to see Wie up close this summer when she contests the Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane.
The American yesterday formally committed to the event, taking place in East Lothian from July 26-29. She made her debut in the tournament at Dundonald Links last year, finishing 19th, and is looking forward to coming back for another go this year.
“I love coming over to play golf in Scotland," said Wie. "The fans are always amazing and it’s the home of golf after all, so you always feel a sense of excitement being here.
"Last year was very testing conditions and I managed to learn a lot about my game having to hit a variety of different shots. The tournament proved to be the perfect preparation for me heading in to the RICOH Women’s British Open where I had my best ever finish. Hopefully, I can continue to learn more this year.”