The PGA Tour and the DP World Tour have announced that they are joining forces with Isao Aoki's Japan Golf Tour (photo) to create bridges between the three circuits. Starting this season, the top three players on the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the DP World Tour for the following year.
An announcement that resembles the one made earlier this year regarding the top ten players not otherwise exempt from the DP World Tour, rewarded with accession to the PGA Tour.
Japan Tour, statements
“The Japan Golf Tour Organization has produced many incredibly talented players over the years, and we are thrilled to offer this gateway under a meritocracy-based system”.
said Keith Pelley. This announcement comes in a tense context since the emergence of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. During the second LIV tournament in Portland, four Japanese players had formed a team called Torque GC but this formation is now led by Joaquin Niemann who had in his ranks Scott Vincent, Adrian Otaegui and Jediah Morgan during the team final at the end of season in Miami.
The PGA Tour had also threatened Japan Golf Tour players with being barred from the ZOZO Championship and Korn Ferry Tour qualifiers if they took part in LIV tournaments. Finally, for his part, Hideki Matsuyama had reaffirmed his unfailing loyalty to the PGA Tour in response to rumors of a departure on the rebel circuit of the winner of the Masters 2021.
“We are proud of the rich tradition that the Japanese golf circuit has established over the past 40 years, and this development is the next step in the journey of our organization. We've been helping develop the game since our beginnings in 1973, and we're excited that the next class of Japanese gamers can soon reap the rewards that their predecessors helped create for them.
We look forward to working with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to usher in a new era of professional golf development in Japan”. commented Isao Aoki the CEO of the JGTO. In addition to this gateway to the European and American circuits, the partnership will offer access to the QSchool of the DP World Tour organized at the end of each season.
"There are players from 34 different countries on the DP World Tour in 2023 and alongside our first tournament in Japan next April, this Monday's announcement further reaffirms our position as a World Tour." rejoiced the boss of the DP World Tour.
The JGTO will also work in concert with the two major circuits in "key business areas", including strategic development and business growth.