THE 2020 World Amateur Team Championships are being moved from Hong Kong to Singapore because of continuing unrest in the former British colony, the IGF announced today.
The International Golf Federation announced the Eisenhower and Espirtio Santo Trophies – set to be played from October 12-24 – will now be played at Tanah Merah Country Club and Sentosa Golf Club on the same dates.
The IGF says the relocation from Hong Kong to Singapore is aimed at alleviating any concerns about the potential impact of the civil unrest in Hong Kong in recent months.
The Singapore Golf Association (SGA) will host both competitions. The Espirito Santo Trophy for women will be held from October 14-17 while the men will compete for the Eisenhower from October 21-24.
IGF executive director Antony Scanlon said: “Although the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) expressed its willingness and ability to stage the World Amateur Team Championships, the IGF board determined that, to allay the members’ concerns and to remove uncertainty about the staging of the event, it was in the best interests of the championships to relocate them.
“We appreciate the SGA’s willingness to host the championships and its efforts in securing government and local support to enable this to happen on the same dates as scheduled.
“At the same time, we want to acknowledge and thank the HKGA for all the work it did and its understanding for the decision we have made.
“We look forward to the opportunity to hold the team championships in Hong Kong at a future date and will be inviting the HKGA to submit a proposal for staging the 2024 edition.”
Hong Kong await return to WATC
HONG Kong Golf Association president Kenneth Lam was looking forward to the World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) returning to the city for the first time 36 years.
said: “Having hosted the World Amateur Team Championships for the first time in 1984, we were very much looking forward to welcoming the world’s best amateur players once again to our city.
“We have a distinguished history of staging renowned international golfing events, so the decision to relocate the competitions is naturally disappointing.
“However, we wish our friends at the Singapore Golf Association the very best, and we are sure they will put on two fantastic weeks of first-rate competition.
“We eagerly anticipate the return of the World Amateur Team Championships to Hong Kong in the coming years.”
Tanah Merah CC’s Tampines Course, site of the final round for the women, hosted the first two Lexus Cups.
The former team competition between Asia and the Rest of the World was sanctioned by the LPGA.
Sentosa GC’s New Tanjong Course, which will host the final round of the men’s competition, is host to the HSBC Women’s World Championship, to be played end of this month.
SGA president Ross Tan said: “We are glad to have the World Amateur Team Championships hosted in Singapore for the first time.
“We also look forward to warmly welcome all the top amateur golfers and officials from around the world to our island for a great tournament ahead.
World Amateur Team Championship history
They compete in 72 holes of strokeplay competition. Each country fields two or three players with the two lowest scores counting per round.
The Eisenhower Trophy was first competed for at St Andrews in 1958 with the women’s Espirito Santo Trophy joining the World Amateur Team Championships in 1964.
Among the players to have featured in Eisenhower Trophy are Jack Nicklaus, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau and Rickie Fowler.
In the Espirito Santo, the likes of Juli Inkster – on the winning team in 1980 and 1982 – Nancy Lopez, Patty Hurst all have winners’ medals.
In recent years Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda and Danielle Kang have gone on to appear in the Solheim Cup against Europe, having won on the LPGA Tour.