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November 8, 2021
Granting Exemption Spots to Japan Golf Association and Japan Golf Tour Organization to Support Golfers' Efforts to Compete on the Global Stage
November 8, 2021
Revised on November 9, 2021
Tokyo, Japan â Sony Group Corporation (Sony) today announced that it has extended its sponsorship contract for the Sony Open in Hawaii with the PGA TOUR and Friends of Hawaii Charities, the tournament host, for another four years until 2026.
Additionally, to support the efforts of both professional and amateur golfers in Japan, Sony will be granting two of the title sponsor's exemption spots*1 to the Japan Golf Association (JGA) and the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) as detailed below, in a program entitled the "Sony Open Challenge," beginning in 2022.
|Exemption program name||"Sony Open Challenge"|
|Eligible golfers*2||JGA National Team members||2020-21 Japan Golf Tour members
|Exemption spot conditions||1st place, Japan amateur ranking||
Association prize money ranking
The top player among Japan Golf Tour members in the Official World Golf Ranking*3
|Number of exemption spots||1||1|
Sony has sponsored the Sony Open in Hawaii continuously since 1999. Every year, all proceeds from this event are channeled back into the local Hawaiian community through partner Friends of Hawaii Charities, supporting children, women, the elderly, and the impoverished. A total of nearly $22 million has been donated to over 350 charities to date, making the tournament the largest charity sports event in Hawaii.
Jay Monahan, PGA TOUR commissioner, remarked, "One of our longest-tenured partners dating back to 1999, Sony has had a tremendous impact in building the Sony Open in Hawaii into what it is today - a favorite among our players and fans - while making an indelible charitable impact throughout the Hawaiian Islands. We appreciate Sony's friendship and thank them for their loyalty in extending their partnership an additional four years."
Corbett A.K. Kalama, President, Friends of Hawaii Charities, had this to say: "Sony, the Friends of Hawaii Charities, and Charity Partner, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, have had a significant impact changing the lives of many. From the 2022 competition, Sony Group has generously presented the JGA and JGTO exemption playing spots for one of their respective members to challenge the world's best golfers. This is an exciting development that we believe will enhance the flavor of the event. Coupled with the loyal support of Waialae Country Club, Hawaii Tourism Authority, numerous business sponsors, and over 1500 volunteers, Sony has once again demonstrated visionary genius by aligning peerless technology, the best golf pros from Japan and the PGA TOUR, with the alluring beauty of Hawaii for the global television audience, all while honoring its commitment to help thousands of islanders in need. The Sony Open in Hawaii is a treasure to the people of Hawaii and beyond."
Tsunetada Takeda, Chairman & CEO of the Japan Golf Association, said, "I am delighted that amateur exemption spots have been granted for the PGA TOUR's Sony Open in Hawaii, one of the world's top golf tournaments. As part of JGA golfer enhancement initiatives, we conduct programs to enhance skills to global standards, with many top amateurs growing their skills through daily friendly competition with the aim of competing at the global level. I am convinced that playing in such a tournament where the world's top golfers compete is a rare opportunity for amateur golfers to gain firsthand experience of global competitions, and contributes to driving JGA golfer enhancement initiatives. I hope that golfers who appear in the tournament will seize this chance to make full use of their skills."
Isao Aoki, Chairman of the Japan Golf Tour Organization, stated, "I would like to express my sincere gratitude for providing the JGTO with an exemption spot to the Sony Open in Hawaii again this year. This is one of the world's top PGA TOUR events, and a major opportunity for players wishing to play at the global level to gain a foothold. I hope that the golfer who secures the exemption spot will make the most of this chance and demonstrate all of his skills as a representative of the JGTO."
Finally, Hiroshi Kawano, Executive Vice President, Corporate Executive of Sony Corporation, commented as follows: "The Sony Open in Hawaii, which we started as a way to show our gratitude to Hawaii, is now approaching its 24th year, and I am glad we are able to extend our sponsorship through 2026. While continuing to support the Hawaiian community, starting next year we have decided to also support golfers playing in Japan. In collaboration with the JGA and JGTO, we will back up their challenge to compete on a global level by offering exemption spots. With the world still facing difficulties today, I have never felt such a stronger bond with the PGA TOUR and Friends of Hawaii Charities. I wish to continue supporting the people of Hawaii, and the young golfers' bright future."