The PGA Tour and DP World Tour strategic alliance is expanding, now including the Japan Golf Tour in a player pathway that will now create ways for players to move between the three tours based on performance.
Beginning with the 2022-23 season, the top three players on the Japan Golf Tour Organization Order of Merit will earn membership onto the DP World Tour for the next season.
The agreement and pathway builds on the arrangement announced in June between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour which will see the leading 10 players on DP World Tour’s Race To Dubai Rankings earning cards on the starting with the 2024 season.
Additionally, the JGTO will work alongside the PGA Tour and DP World Tour in key business areas and look for more areas of collaboration and support.
“Japan has a long, storied history of producing world-class golf talent that deserves the opportunity to compete on the game’s highest stage, and today’s announcement is recognition of that," said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
"Over the past 30 years, 25 players have claimed at least one victory on both the PGA Tour and Japan Golf Tour, including current Japan Golf Tour Chairman Isao Aoki, who in 1983 became the first Japanese-born player to win on the PGA Tour when he holed out for eagle on the 72nd hole to win the Sony Open in Hawaii. His legacy continues today with eight-time JGTO winner Hideki Matsuyama and will now endure for years to come under this new pathway.”
The Japan Golf Tour has seen purses stagnate in recent years, but that has not meant a shortage of developing players who have made waves on the global stage.
“We are proud of the rich tradition the Japan men’s golf tour has established over the last 40 years, and this development is the next step in the journey of our organisation," said Aoki. "Our players have made significant contributions to the global game since our tour’s inception in 1973, and we are excited that the next class of Japanese players will soon be able to reap the rewards that their predecessors helped create for them. We are looking forward to working with both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour on the next era of professional golf development in Japan.”
For the DP World Tour, they have cemented themselves in the modern pecking order of tours, giving themselves another system to feed into their talent pool.
“The Japan Golf Tour Organisation has produced many incredibly talented players over the years, and we are delighted to establish this formal pathway as part of golf’s meritocratic system," said Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the DP World Tour, "defining clear routes for players from the other international Tours to earn status on the DP World Tour and potentially go on to play on the PGA Tour."