Tournament article

ACN Championship Golf Tournament 2023

Dawn of new era for ACN Championship Golf Tournament

Dawn of new era for ACN Championship Golf Tournament

The ACN Championship Golf Tournament is set to commence at the Sanko Golf Club this Thursday, heralding a new chapter on the JGTO.

This rejuvenated tournament, now proudly sponsored by ACN Corporation, boasts a rich heritage that began in 1969 with its inception as the Dunlop Tournament.

It became a staple of the JGTO soon after the circuit's formation in 1973.

Historically, the championship has been hosted at various prestigious courses nationwide, rotating venues regularly. With each new sponsor over the years, the tournament has experienced significant evolutions.

Most recently, it was recognised as the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup, a joint event sanctioned by the Asian Tour. Shugo Imahira emerged victorious at the Oarai Golf Club in Ibaraki last year.

With ACN Corporation's patronage, the tournament is poised for a refreshed start.

During the tournament press conference on July 31, Yoshihisa Fujioka, President of ACN Corporation, expressed his enthusiasm about the prospects of men's professional golf in the country and hopes to play a part in further enhancing them.

"Our ambition goes beyond mere sponsorship. We aim to help steer men's golf to greater heights. I hope players receive more playing opportunities and eventually take on global challenges. That's why we decided to sponsor this," he explained.

JGTO sensation Taiga Semikawa eagerly anticipates his return to the Sanko Golf Club, the unforgettable venue where he clinched the Japan Open last year, becoming the first amateur to do so in 95 years.

He aims to redeem himself this week, having settled for a 13th place finish at last week's Vantelin Tokai Classic, despite leading for the first two days.

Currently third on the JGTO Money Rankings, trailing only Takumi Kanaya and Keita Nakajima, it remains mathematically possible for Semikawa to clinch the top prize money spot with seven tournaments still on the horizon.

With Kanaya and Nakajima both absent this week, it's crucial for Semikawa to seize the opportunity.

In-form South Korean golfer, Song Young-han, returns to action this week, eyeing not only a second season victory but also aiming to ascend the money list rankings.

Currently ranked fifth, he's within striking distance of surpassing his career-best fourth-place finish from the 2016 season – the same year he notably bested then-world No. 1 Jordan Spieth at the SMBC Singapore Open title.

Song's recent form has been exemplary, securing victory at the Sansan KBC Augusta and finishing as joint runner-up in his last two appearances at the ANA Open and Panasonic Open.