PGA TOUR Champions announced that Mastercard, the Preferred Payment of the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour and sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, has been named as title sponsor for the Tour’s event in Tokyo. The newly-named Mastercard Japan Championship will return to the PGA TOUR Champions schedule the week of June 3-9, 2019.
In March of 2017, Mastercard extended both its presenting sponsorship of the Arnold Palmer Invitational through 2020 and exclusive global marketing relationship as the Preferred Payment of the PGA TOUR through 2022. Dating back to 1995, Mastercard has partnered with the TOUR in order to provide unique golf experiences for cardholders, privileged access to select tournaments and properties, golf-related savings and offers, as well as an enhanced payment experience at TOUR events.
“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 of 2017 and will again be contested at Narita Golf Club (Accordia Golf) in Narita-City, Chiba Prefecture. A field of 68 players, inclusive of eight local sponsor exemptions, will compete for a purse of $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 in 2019 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 World Golf Hall of Fame member Colin Montgomerie.
“It was a great honor 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 organizers put on a first-class event on a world-class golf course, and I'm thrilled that PGA TOUR Champions will be returning to Narita in 2019.”
The 7,140-yard 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 course. Accordia currently operates 134 golf course locations and 27 driving ranges. The club, especially its course condition, was praised by PGA TOUR Champions players in 2017 event.
The tournament will be conducted by PGA TOUR Champions with special support from the Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan (JPGA).
For more information on the Mastercard Japan Championship, please visit MastercardJapanChampionship.com.
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ABOUT PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS: PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 35 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2018, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments across the United States, Scotland and Canada, with purses totaling more than $56 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 190 countries and territories, reaching more than 350 million potential households. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.
ABOUT ACCORDIA GOLF CO., LTD.: Accordia Golf Co., Ltd., started as a golf course operation company based on a new brand strategy in 2003, currently operates 134 golf course locations and 27 golf practice facilities and Japan’s largest golf operation company. ACCORDIA continues to advocate a new direction for golf in Japan and aims at creating a circumstance where Japanese golfers enjoy golf more casually. In addition, through sponsorships for “The First Tea” and “Pink Ribbon Campaign”, the company carried out activities to convey the attraction of golf to those who did not have the opportunity to be touched by the game thus far such as juniors and female golfers.
ABOUT NARITA GOLF CLUB: Narita Golf Club is one of the flagship courses of Accordia Golf Group. Easily accessed from both Tokyo and the Narita Airport, it is a golf course where you can enjoy high-quality golf life close to Metropolitan Tokyo area. An 18-hole course, Mr. Taizou Kawata design, is spread into gentle hills which left as much nature as possible, while leaving a respectably different flavor on each hole, with a dramatic finish much like the conclusion of a story. The fairways at Narita Golf Club are spacious, but many of the shots have a narrow feel to them due to the visual effects, which strategically stir the willingness of the player to challenge. The clubhouse at Narita Golf Club was designed by Mr. Takashi Sugimoto. The design concept of wood and stone has become a space decorated with the comfort and the margin in the orthodox appearance, which leaves timeless tones for all to enjoy the club life.