CHONBURI, Thailand: Omar Khalid Hussain, Pakistan’s top amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) will be leading his country’s campaign in the prestigious 13th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship which tees off at the Amata Spring Country Club from Thursday (October 27). Omar, 18, is one of the four Pakistani players who earned an invitation for the Asian Amateur Championship, which is counted among the major tournaments on the international circuit. Salman Jehangir, Pakistan’s second-best player on WAGR, Yashal Shah (3) and Saim Shazli (4) are the other three Pakistanis competing in the championship to be played from oct 27-30. Featuring the region’s top amateur talent, the Championship was created in 2009 as a joint initiative to develop the game by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, the Masters Tournament and The R&A. An invitation to play in the Masters Tournament and The Open is given to the winner, while the runners-up gain a place in The Open Qualifying Series for The Open. Over the AAC’s 13-year history, the championship has served as a springboard to some of the world’s top players today. AAC alumni have gone on to win 23 PGA Tour tournaments, highlighted by Hideki Matsuyama at the 2021 Masters and Cameron Smith at The Open in 2022. “It is a great opportunity for me to play in such a high-profile tournament,” said Omar, who made history earlier this year by becoming the first Pakistani golfer to make the cut at any USGA championship. He achieved this feat by making the cut at the US Junior Amateur at Bando Dunes, Oregon. Guan Tianlang earned a historic victory at the 2012 AAC over future PGA Tour winners C.T. Pan (runner-up), Matsuyama (fourth) and Smith (tied 7th) when he became the youngest player to win the AAC at 14 years old. He later became the youngest player to compete, and make the cut, at the Masters Tournament in 2013. “It’s a pleasure to welcome our players back for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship,” said Taimur Hassan Amin, chairman of the APGC. “Amata Spring crowned one of our most amazing champions to date, 14-year- old Guan Tianlang in 2012, who then went on create some more magic by becoming the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters,” added Taimur, Pakistan’s golfing legend. “Tianlang epitomises what we at the APGC, in association with Augusta National Golf Club and The R&A, set out to achieve – unearthing the massive potential we have in our region. I am sure we will have a fantastic and worthy champion following four days of intense competition to follow in the footsteps of such remarkable AAC alumni as Hideki Matsuyama and Cameron Smith.” A full field of 120 amateurs from 39 countries and territories will vie for the prestigious title. Action from the 13th Asian Amateur Championship will reach more countries and golf fans across the globe than ever before. Already the most widely distributed amateur golf event in the world, television coverage of the championship will increase its footprint even further as fans in more than 190 countries can now access the live action. This is an additional 40 countries from last year, when Japan’s then world No. 1, Keita Nakajima, won the title in sensational fashion at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club in the UAE. The first round begins Thursday, October 26, and the final round is scheduled for Sunday, October 29. The championship’s high-definition broadcast includes three hours of live coverage on each of the four competition days.