PGA Tour Champions to hold first event in Japan


The PGA Tour Champions is heading to Japan next year, marking the first time a PGA Tour-sanctioned event will be held in the island nation.

The Japan Airlines Championship will be held Sept. 8-10 at Narita Golf Club in the Chiba Prefecture. The tournament will feature a 68-man field with up to eight local sponsor exemptions, and boasts a $2.5 million purse.

"The Japan Airlines Championship will be an exciting new venture for our Tour, and will allow our players and fans to experience the golf-rich culture that is Tokyo," Tour president Greg McLaughlin said in a release.

The tournament will hope to build off the global momentum fostered by golf's return to the Olympics this past summer, as Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics.

It also continues the Champion Tour's desire to expand into Asia, a movement that began with the attempted introduction of the Pacific Links Championship in China. The inaugural edition of that event was canceled in 2015 after a series of explosions in nearby Tianjin and later moved to Bear Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Canada in 2016.