JGTO bolsters 2023 season with expanded schedule

Kazuki Higa - TheGolfingHub
JGTO members like Kazuki Higa (in pic) will slug it out for a combined prize fund in excess of ¥3.3 billion across tournaments outside the four Major Championships. Photo: JGTO

The Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) unveiled its expanded schedule with at least 26 tournaments slated for its 50th season in 2023- two more than this year.

JGTO members will slug it out for a combined prize fund in excess of ¥3.3 billion across tournaments outside the four Major Championships, including three co-sanctioned events with the Korea Players Golf Association Tour (KPGA) and DP World Tour.

The Tour will tee off with the Token Homemate Cup at the Token Tado Country Club in Nagoya from March 30-April 2 and runs for nine consecutive months until the season-ending Golf Nippon Series JTC Cup from November 30-December 3.

The two new tournaments added to the Tour schedule are Hana Bank Invitational, to be held at Chiba Isumi Golf Club in Chiba from June 15-18 and Yokohama Minato Championship – Fujiki Centennial at Yokohama Country Club in Kanagawa from August 3-6.

With Hana Bank Invitational making its debut this season, the JGTO will now co-sanction two events with KPGA as the two Tours are currently joining forces to stage the Shinhan Donghae Open.

The professional golf scene in Japan continues to receive tremendous support from the corporate sector with Fujiki Enterprise Co., Ltd. and San Co., Ltd being the latest two companies to join the JGTO family, providing its members with more playing opportunities with the inauguration of the ¥100,000,000 Yokohama Minato Championship – Fujiki Centennial.

Another event that is set to generate a lot of interest in the forthcoming season will be none other than the ISPS Handa Championship at the PGM Ishioka Golf Club in Ibaraki.

The ¥270,440,000 (US$2,000,000) will become the first regular tournament in history to be jointly sanctioned by the JGTO and DP World Tour.

The tournament was supposed to make its much-anticipated debut this year, but it could not take place schedule due to ongoing travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Instead, the tournament still went on as a solely sanctioned event on both Tours, carrying the name of ISPS Handa Championship in Japan and ISPS Handa Championship in Spain.

For the 2023 season, there were changes made to several tournaments pertaining to name, dates and prize purse.

The Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup will now be known as the ACN Championship Golf Tournament.

Traditionally held in May, the next edition will be played from October 5-8 with the venue will be announced in due course

The Shigeo Nagashima Invitational Sega Sammy Cup, The Crowns and Golf Partner Pro-Am Tournament are the three tournaments returning next year with an increase in the prize pot.

The total prize money for Shigeo Nagashima Invitational Sega Sammy Cup has been boosted by ¥30,000,000 to ¥150,000,000, while The Crowns and Golf Partner Pro-Am Tournament will offer ¥10,000,000 more than their existing prize fund of ¥100,000,000 and ¥50,000,000 respectively.

The number of events on the 2023 schedule could go up to 28 as discussions are still ongoing in regard to the staging of the Heiwa PGM Championship and For the Players by the Players.

Of the two, the Heiwa PGM Championship looks more likely to return in 2023. Efforts are being made for the event to be held from October 26-29.