New Year Message from Isao Aoki, Chairman, JGTO

New Year Message from Isao Aoki, Chairman, JGTO

On behalf of the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO), I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and express my sincere gratitude for your continuous support of JGTO.


In early 2022, COVID-19 showed no sign of ending and continued to wreak havoc across the globe, including Japan, where we were forced to keep adapting and changing the way we live and work.


Even under these challenging circumstances, we managed to organise the 2022 season of the Japan Golf Tour successfully. We got the ball rolling with the SMBC Singapore Open in January, followed by the customary season-opening Token Homemate Cup in late March.


From then till December, we completed 27 events on the main Tour and 14 on the ABEMA Tour.


For the Tour to run smoothly throughout the year, we could not have done it without the dedication and support of the organisers, sponsors and volunteers who had worked tirelessly to ensure the success of their respective events.


To these unsung heroes, we thank you very much.


One of the highlights of 2022, was the remarkable rise of Taiga Semikawa.


Being only an amateur and a fourth-year university student, Semikawa made heads turn when he won the Japan Create Challenge in Fukuoka Rizan on the ABEMA Tour in June. 


The feat made him the only fifth amateur in history to win on ABEMA Tour.


Semikawa wasted no time in taking his career to greater heights by proving himself on the main Tour. Just 14 weeks after his ABEMA Tour high, he upstaged his more illustrious competitors to win the Panasonic Open for his Japan Golf Tour breakthrough.


In doing so, he became the only sixth amateur winner in the Tour history.


There was just no stopping Semikawa as he went on to capture the Japan Open Golf Championship in October. He became the first amateur to accomplish back-to-back victories in the long history of men’s golf.


The 2022 season has been truly memorable for players in their twenties indeed. Besides Semikawa, the others who stood out were Yuto Katsuragawa, Riki Kawamoto, Kaito Onishi and Aguri Iwasaki.


Unfortunately, we were still unable to bring back the crowd in full force due to the restrictions on the number of golf fans attending the tournaments as part of the COVID-19 preventive measures.


COVID-19 preventive measures during the 2022 season may have restricted us from bringing back the full crowd, but we have continued to engage actively with the fans on various social media platforms. 


One of our ongoing initiatives is the “Discover Your Green” campaign where we have engaged fans through our website and social media activities.


We are hopeful that with COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing up, we will be able to welcome all fans back to our tournaments again. There is surely nothing better than for fans to be physically present at the venue to support and cheer for their favourite players.


As we welcome 2023, we also look forward to your continuous support for JGTO in the new year ahead.


Thank you.


Japan Golf Tour Organization


Isao Aoki