The 2019-2020 PGA Tour schedule will feature an official stop in Japan for the first time in Tour history, with the announcement of the Zozo Championship.
The tournament was created as part of a six-year deal between the PGA Tour and Zozo, a clothing retailer owned by Yusaku Maezawa. Maezawa is the first person to pay to join Elon Musk’s lunar trip through his space tourism company.
The Zozo Championship, played Oct. 24-27 in its maiden year, will feature a $9.75 million purse -- as has become somewhat standard in the Asian Swing now outside the WGC-HSBC Champions -- and have a 96-player field facing no cut. The field will consist of 78 PGA Tour players, 10 players from Japan's JGTO and eight sponsor exemptions. Narashino Country Club, just outside of Tokyo, will host the event. The Japan Golf Tour Organization will co-host the event.
Maezawa, alluding to the fact he runs an apparel company, said he hopes to make his tournament the most fashionable on the Tour docket.
Zozo's appeal to buyers is their ability to use an app and a special garment called a Zozosuit -- which is basically a leotard with 350 reflective points to measure a customer's specific dimensions -- to order custom-fit clothing at reasonable prices.
The tournament effectively replaces the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, as it will fall off the schedule in 2019. The PGA Tour notes CIMB is realigning its sponsorship of the PGA Tour.
The development of the PGA Tour's first official event in Japan coincides with the countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games, which will feature two 60-player golf tournaments for the second time since 1904.