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JGTO sanctions new tournament in Fukushima

Kyodo

Japan’s JGTO tour announced Thursday that it will sanction a new event this season, the Dunlop Srixon Fukushima Open.

The new event, to be held at the Grandee Nasushirakawa Golf Club in Fukushima Prefecture from July 31 to Aug. 3, means there will 25 tour events this season, the same as last year. The new event’s ¥50 million in prize money will be the lowest figure on the 2014 calendar.

“We want people to be able to see pros in an area that doesn’t have tournaments,” JGTO executive director Hiroshi Yamanaka told a news conference. “With ¥50 million in total prize money, we’d like this to be a test case to see if we can hold slimmed-down tournaments.”

The JGTO will sanction 23 domestic events and two overseas. The domestic count dropped to 22 in December when the Panasonic Open was removed from the calendar.

This year’s season opener, the Thailand Open, was due to start on March 13 outside Bangkok, but it has been postponed due to political unrest in the capital. The JGTO is looking at re-scheduling the event in July or August.