Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States: Mastercard will title sponsor the PGA Tour Champions event in Tokyo. The newly-named Mastercard Japan Championship will return to the PGA Tour Champions schedule the week of June 3-9, 2019.
“Mastercard is proud to become a title sponsor on PGA Tour Champions to bring the excitement of world-class golf into Japan,” said Nandan Mer, Division President for Japan, Mastercard. “As title sponsor, we look forward to providing added value to our customers with iconic priceless experiences linked to this tournament for golf fans, Mastercard cardholders and partner companies.”
The 2019 Mastercard Japan Championship will mark the Tour’s return to Japan following the inaugural Japan Airlines Championship in September 2017 and will again be contested at Narita Golf Club in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture. A field of 68 players, inclusive of eight local sponsor exemptions, will compete for a purse of US$2.5 million.
“We are excited to bring PGA Tour Champions and the legends of the game back to Narita Golf Club and the passionate golf fans in Japan,” said PGA Tour Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “Mastercard has been a tremendous partner of the PGA Tour since 1995, and we are eager to build on that great history in an important international market with the Mastercard Japan Championship.”
Tom Watson, Mastercard’s Golf Ambassador, will return to Japan to compete in the Mastercard Japan Championship. The World Golf Hall of Fame member, who notched 39 victories during his PGA Tour career, won the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan in 1980 and 1997, claiming the latter title at the age of 48.
“I’ve always enjoyed visiting and competing in Japan. Therefore, I’m especially pleased that my partner of 25 years, Mastercard, will be bringing PGA Tour Champions back to Japan in 2019,” said Watson.
The inaugural PGA Tour Champions event at Narita Golf Club was won by Scotsman Colin Montgomerie.
“It was a great honour to play in the PGA Tour’s first official tournament in Japan, and winning the inaugural event in 2017 was a very special moment in my career,” said Montgomerie. “The fans in Japan are remarkable and the tournament organisers put on a first-class event. I’m thrilled that PGA Tour Champions will be returning to Narita in 2019.”
The 6,528-metre Narita Golf Club is located approximately 45 minutes east of downtown Tokyo, and is operated by Accordia Golf Co Ltd as one of the group’s flagship golf courses. Accordia currently operates 134 golf course locations and 27 driving ranges.
The tournament will be conducted by PGA Tour Champions with special support from the Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan.