What kind of tournament is the Hitachi 3Tours Championship?

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On December 11, the Hitachi 3Tours Championship 2016 was held at the Gurissando Golf Club in Chiba Prefecture Japan. This event is the tour competition between Japan Golf Tour, Japan LPGA tour and PGA Senior Tour. And this event is also aimed for charity, Entry income and contestant’s prize money will be donated as charity.

The event was handicapped to level the playing field. The Japan Golf Tour players played the course at its full length, while the PGA Senior Tour players hit from tee positions that made the course shorter and the Japan LPGA tour players from even shorter tee positions. The participating players were selected as the top prize winners of each tour and Every 6 players were participated.

Players are divided into three groups of two people, the front nine were best ball match and the back nine were alternate shot. The combination of each group is as follows.
■First group: Young-Han Song and Yusaku Miyazato(Golf Tour), Ai Suzuki and Erika Kikuchi(LPGA), Kiyoshi Maita and Shinichi Akiba(Senior Tour)
■Second group:Shingo Katayama and Satoshi Kodaira(Golf Tour), Bo Mee Lee and Jiyai Shin(LPGA), Prayad Marksaeng and Naoyuki Tamura(Senior Tour)
■Third group: Hideto Tanihara and Daisuke Kataoka(Golf Tour), Ritsuko Ryu and Kotone Hori(LPGA), Masahiro Kuramoto and Takeshi Sakiyama(Senior Tour)
※In the back nine, Jiyai Shin and Kotone Hori switched. And the Japan Golf Tour replaced the second group and the third group.

At the end of the front nine, players eat a buffet style meal on the side of the green and play the back nine. The points are given according to the ranking within the group, the tour with the most points wins the championship. In 2016, tthe Japan Golf Tour won the total with 13.5 points and got the winning prize of 30 million yen. It was their 6th win and their first in three years. The PGA Senior Tour took the second place, the Japan LPGA Tour took the third place.

By the way, why Yuta Ikeda who’s a leading money winner of the Japan Golf Tour did not participate in this event? Because Ikeda wants to participate in the 2017 Masters, so in same week he was scheduled to participate in the USB Hong Kong Open to raise the world rankings. But his world ranking is now 34th this week, and the participation to the Masters is definite. After all he also did not take part in the USB Hong Kong Open.

Then, have you seen the same event as the Hitachi 3Tours Championship? Actually this event is original by Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge that was held at the Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson Nevada until 2013. In Japan, the tournament was sponsored by Hitachi Ltd that is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company and has been held since 2005. And it is now a popular event at the end of the year.

This youtube’s video is this tournament of last year. The Japan LPGA Tour got the total with 10 points and won the Hitachi 3Tours Championship 2015.

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