Tokyo, Japan: Japan’s showpiece national Open championships have been given the green light to proceed.
Despite continued concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Japan Golf Association (JGA) has confirmed that the Japan Senior Open, Japan Women’s Open and Japan Open will all go ahead.
However, in light of the threat that the virus still poses, all three events will take place without spectators, while prize money will be cut by 25 per cent. Furthermore, the Pro-Ams and Champions Dinners have been cancelled.
“We’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions,” said Andy Yamanaka, the JGA’s Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.
“Given the long history and great tradition of these championships, even in these difficult times and demanding circumstances we’ve decided that these three tournaments will take place.
“We understand it is not ideal that spectators will not be present and that the prize money is reduced, but we think it’s fair to everyone,” said Yamanaka, adding that those who have already purchased tickets will be fully reimbursed.
Yamanaka said the Japan Open and Japan Women’s Open will both enjoy extensive live coverage on terrestrial television via the NHK network, while the Japan Senior Open will be broadcast on NHK satellite.
Naruo Golf Club in Hyogo Prefecture will stage the 30th Japan Senior Open (September 17-20) with Toru Taniguchi defending his title.
Fukuoka’s The Classic Golf Club is the venue for the 53rd Japan Women’s Open at which Nasa Hataoka will be aiming to retain her crown (October 1-4), while Murasaki Country Club in Chiba will play host to the 85th Japan Open (October 15-18), an event won last year by Chan Kim.
Given the 14-day quarantine period for anyone arriving in Japan, international players will be conspicuous by their absence at this year’s national Opens.