News and events from Hong Kong and the region.
The PGA TOUR and ZOZO, Inc. – which operates the largest Japanese online fashion website “ZOZOTOWN” – today announced a six-year agreement that establishes the first annual, official PGA TOUR tournament in Japan. The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, which will be co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO), is set to debut at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club the week of October 21, 2019, during the opening segment of the 2019-20 PGA TOUR FedExCup Season.
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, with a Japan-record purse of US$9.75 million, will become part of the TOUR’s swing through Asia, joining THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China. The CIMB Classic in Malaysia no longer will be on the PGA TOUR schedule, as CIMB is realigning its sponsorship with the TOUR.
thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the first annual, official PGA TOUR event to Japan through our partnership with ZOZO, Inc.,” said Ty Votaw, PGA TOUR Executive Vice President, International. “Japan’s passion for golf is widely recognized and something our stars have experienced first-hand through various events held here and the support of standout PGA TOUR players like champion Hideki Matsuyama. Today’s announcement further strengthens our presence in Asia and certainly comes at an opportune time with golf set to follow its highly successful return to the Olympics in Rio when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games.”
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP field will consist of 78 professionals, including 60 available players from the previous season’s FedExCup points list, 10 designated by the JGTO and eight special exemptions.
The PGA TOUR, which opened an office in Tokyo in 2016, has a long history in Japan, starting with its involvement in the 1957 World Cup of Golf in Tokyo. After the first three editions of the event took place in Canada and the United States, the tournament was held outside North America for the first time in 1957 when the Kasumigaseki Club (which will host the 2020 Olympic golf competition) saw the U.S. team of Ben Hogan and Sam Snead take the title. Japan subsequently hosted the 1966 and 2001 World Cups.
(LTR) Ty Votaw, PGA TOUR Executive Vice President, International and Yusaku Maezawa, ZOZO Inc. CEO