Japan Golf Tour

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Japan Golf Tour
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023 Japan Golf Tour
Formerlyiiyama Tour
PGA of Japan Tour
SportGolf
Founded1973
FounderPGA of Japan
Inaugural season1973
DirectorIsao Aoki
CountriesBased in Japan[a]
Most titlesMoney list titles:
Japan Masashi Ozaki (12)
Tournament wins:
Japan Masashi Ozaki (94)
Related
competitions
Japan Challenge Tour
Official websitehttp://www.jgto.org/en

The Japan Golf Tour (Japanese: 日本ゴルフツアー機構) is a prominent professional golf tour. It was founded in 1973 and as of 2006 it offered the third-highest annual prize fund out of the regular (that is not for seniors) men's professional tours after the PGA Tour and the European Tour. However, since the early 1990s, the growth in prize money has not kept pace with that on the two larger tours. Official events on the Japan Golf Tour count for Official World Golf Ranking points and success on the tour can also qualify members to play in the majors.

Most of the leading players on the tour are Japanese, but players from many other countries also participate. The tour is currently run by the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO), which was established in 1999 to separate the tour from the PGA of Japan.[1] The JGTO also organises a developmental tour called the Japan Challenge Tour.

Masashi Ozaki has been the dominant player on tour, leading the career wins list with 94, the career money list with over ¥2 billion and winning the money title twelve times between 1973 and 1998.[2]

Entry to The Open Championship is given to Order of Merit winner and runner-up, Japan Open Golf Championship winner, two players not already exempt from the money list up to the Japan Golf Tour Championship and the top four non-exempt players from the Mizuno Open.

In 2000, the tour signed a title sponsorship agreement with Iiyama, being renamed as the iiyama Tour. The agreement was reported to be worth ¥1,500,000,000 over three years.[3]

In 2008, the tour ventured outside of Japan for the first time, co-sanctioning the Pine Valley Beijing Open in China, alongside the Asian Tour.[4] In 2013, the tour also co-sanctioned two events at the beginning of the year in Thailand and Indonesia with the OneAsia Tour.[5][6]

In December 2022, a new agreement involving the JGTO, PGA Tour and European Tour was announced. As part of the deal, from 2023 onwards the top three on the Japan Golf Tour's season-ending money list earned status to play on the European Tour for the following season.[7]

Money list winners[edit]

Season Winner Prize money (¥)
2023 Japan Keita Nakajima 184,986,179
2022 Japan Kazuki Higa 181,598,825
2020–21 United States Chan Kim 127,599,803
2019 Japan Shugo Imahira (2) 168,049,312
2018 Japan Shugo Imahira 139,119,332
2017 Japan Yūsaku Miyazato 182,831,982
2016 Japan Yuta Ikeda 207,901,567
2015 South Korea Kim Kyung-tae (2) 165,981,625
2014 Japan Koumei Oda 137,318,693
2013 Japan Hideki Matsuyama 201,076,781
2012 Japan Hiroyuki Fujita 175,159,972
2011 South Korea Bae Sang-moon 151,078,958
2010 South Korea Kim Kyung-tae 181,103,799
2009 Japan Ryo Ishikawa 183,524,051
2008 Japan Shingo Katayama (5) 180,094,895
2007 Japan Toru Taniguchi (2) 171,744,498
2006 Japan Shingo Katayama (4) 178,402,190
2005 Japan Shingo Katayama (3) 134,075,280
2004 Japan Shingo Katayama (2) 119,512,374
2003 Japan Toshimitsu Izawa (2) 135,454,300
2002 Japan Toru Taniguchi 145,440,341
2001 Japan Toshimitsu Izawa 217,934,583
2000 Japan Shingo Katayama 177,116,489
1999 Japan Naomichi Ozaki (2) 137,641,796
1998 Japan Masashi Ozaki (12) 179,627,400
1997 Japan Masashi Ozaki (11) 170,847,633
1996 Japan Masashi Ozaki (10) 209,646,746
1995 Japan Masashi Ozaki (9) 192,319,800
1994 Japan Masashi Ozaki (8) 215,468,000
1993 Japan Hajime Meshiai 148,718,200
1992 Japan Masashi Ozaki (7) 186,816,466
1991 Japan Naomichi Ozaki 119,507,974
1990 Japan Masashi Ozaki (6) 129,060,500
1989 Japan Masashi Ozaki (5) 108,715,733
1988 Japan Masashi Ozaki (4) 125,162,540
1987 United States David Ishii 86,554,421
1986 Japan Tsuneyuki Nakajima (4) 90,202,066
1985 Japan Tsuneyuki Nakajima (3) 101,609,333
1984 Japan Shinsaku Maeda 57,040,357
1983 Japan Tsuneyuki Nakajima (2) 85,514,183
1982 Japan Tsuneyuki Nakajima 68,220,640
1981 Japan Isao Aoki (5) 57,262,941
1980 Japan Isao Aoki (4) 60,532,660
1979 Japan Isao Aoki (3) 45,554,211
1978 Japan Isao Aoki (2) 62,987,200
1977 Japan Masashi Ozaki (3) 35,932,608
1976 Japan Isao Aoki 40,985,801
1975 Japan Takashi Murakami 38,705,551
1974 Japan Masashi Ozaki (2) 41,846,908
1973 Japan Masashi Ozaki 43,814,000

Multiple money list titles[edit]

The following players have won more than one money list title through 2023:

Titles Player
12 Japan Masashi Ozaki
5 Japan Isao Aoki
Japan Shingo Katayama
4 Japan Tsuneyuki Nakajima
2 Japan Toshimitsu Izawa
Japan Naomichi Ozaki
Japan Toru Taniguchi
South Korea Kim Kyung-tae
Japan Shugo Imahira

Awards[edit]

Season Most Valuable Player Rookie of the Year
2023 Japan Keita Nakajima Japan Keita Nakajima
2022 Japan Kazuki Higa Japan Yuto Katsuragawa
2020–21 United States Chan Kim Japan Takumi Kanaya
2019 Japan Shugo Imahira (2) Thailand Jazz Janewattananond
2018 Japan Shugo Imahira Japan Rikuya Hoshino
2017 Japan Yūsaku Miyazato United States Chan Kim
2016 Japan Yuta Ikeda South Africa Shaun Norris
2015 South Korea Kim Kyung-tae South Korea Song Young-han
2014 Japan Koumei Oda South Korea Kim Seung-hyuk
2013 Japan Hideki Matsuyama Japan Hideki Matsuyama
2012 Japan Hiroyuki Fujita (2) Japan Yoshinori Fujimoto
2011 South Korea Bae Sang-moon South Korea Park Jae-bum
2010 Japan Hiroyuki Fujita Japan Shunsuke Sonoda
2009 Japan Ryo Ishikawa Japan Yuta Ikeda
2008 Japan Shingo Katayama (4) Japan Ryo Ishikawa
2007 Japan Toru Taniguchi (3) South Korea Lee Seong-ho
2006 Japan Shingo Katayama (3) South Korea Lee Dong-hwan
2005 Japan Shingo Katayama (2) South Korea Jang Ik-jae
2004 Japan Toru Taniguchi (2) Japan Takuya Taniguchi
2003 Japan Toshimitsu Izawa (2) Japan Hideto Tanihara
2002 Japan Toru Taniguchi Australia Brendan Jones
2001 Japan Toshimitsu Izawa Australia Scott Laycock
2000 Japan Shingo Katayama United States Dean Wilson

Career money leaders[edit]

The table shows the top ten career money leaders on the Japan Golf Tour through the 2021 season. The figures shown include money won in the four global major championships from 1998 onwards and in the individual World Golf Championships from 1999 to 2009.

Position Player Prize money (¥)
1 Japan Masashi Ozaki 2,688,836,653
2 Japan Shingo Katayama 2,252,278,502
3 Japan Tsuneyuki Nakajima 1,664,953,541
4 Japan Toru Taniguchi 1,662,207,219
5 Japan Naomichi Ozaki 1,545,609,713
6 Japan Hiroyuki Fujita 1,533,257,797
7 Japan Yuta Ikeda 1,269,641,069
8 Japan Hideto Tanihara 1,192,142,233
9 Japan Katsumasa Miyamoto 1,166,981,591
10 Australia Brendan Jones 1,094,192,410

There is a full list on the Japan Golf Tour's website here.

Records[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Schedules have also included events in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Japan golf touring pros on own". The Honolulu Advertiser. Honolulu, Hawaii. 27 January 1999. p. 27. Retrieved 10 April 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Zak, Sean (8 December 2016). "Before Hideki Matsuyama, There Was Jumbo Ozaki". Golf.com. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  3. ^ "年間スポンサーのイーヤマ撤退を正式発表" [Official announcement of the withdrawal of annual sponsor iiyama]. Golf Digest Japan (in Japanese). 11 May 2002. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Aoki tipped to play at Pine Valley Beijing Open". china.org.cn. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  5. ^ "Japan Tour expands OneAsia link". The Sporting News. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  6. ^ Thongsombat, Kittipong (13 December 2012). "Japanese addition for Thai Open". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  7. ^ Beall, Joel (5 December 2022). "PGA Tour and DP World Tour announce alliance with Japan Golf Tour". Golf Digest. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  8. ^ "15-year-old boy captures pro tournament in Japan". Toronto Star. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2023.

External links[edit]