Tournament officials announced today that Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gold medallist and 7-time PGA TOUR winner Xander Schauffele has committed to play in the 2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP at ACCORDIA GOLF Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan, October 13-16, 2022.
Joining Schauffele are Cameron Champ, a 3-time PGA TOUR champion, 12-time TOUR winner Jason Day, former DP World Tour No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood and 5-time winner Rickie Fowler.
“We are delighted to announce that Xander Schauffele will headline the 2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP as well as PGA TOUR superstars like Cameron Champ, Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler,” said Travis Steiner, Executive Director of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP.
“Their presence and star power will help deliver another week of world-class golf in Japan and put a spotlight on the legacy this tournament continues to build.”
Schauffele, the World No. 5, has enjoyed a stellar 2022. Following a three-year wait, he picked up his fifth PGA TOUR title in April when he partnered with close friend and 2020 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP winner, Patrick Cantlay, to claim victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Later in the summer, he won the Travelers Championship and Genesis Scottish Open in successive tournament appearances. Schauffele has played in all three editions of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, with a T10 in 2019 being his best finish. The 28-year-old American, whose father is French/German and mother from Chinese Taipei, has close links to Japan where his maternal grandparents live in the country.
Schauffele said: “My love and respect for Japan runs deep. From childhood memories of visiting my grandparents to playing in the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, and of course winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games, Japan is a special place to me and my family. I’m excited to head back there again this fall to compete in this year’s ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. I’ve had a great year thus far and winning in Japan would be the perfect end to what has been a memorable 2022.”
Champ, who turned professional in 2017, is a three-time PGA TOUR winner with his most recent victory captured at the 2021 3M Open. The 27-year-old made his ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP debut in 2020 at Sherwood Country Club, finishing T8, and making 2022 his second tournament appearance but first in Japan.
“The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is definitely going to be a highlight on my fall schedule this year,” said Champ. “I played the event in 2020 at Sherwood, but I am especially excited to return to Japan and experience the culture there again. Japan has some of the best fans in the world and incredible courses, so I’m really looking forward to playing in that atmosphere at Narashino. My plan is to come out and play my best golf against a field that continues to grow in strength year after year.”
The 2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP will mark Day’s third start at the event, with his best finish coming in 2019 during its inaugural playing. This season, the 34-year-old has notched one top-10 finish, placing T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he is a two-time tournament winner.
The Australian is a 12-time champion with a career highlighted by wins at the PGA Championship (2015) and THE PLAYERS Championship (2016).
“I’m really looking forward to making the trip back to Japan for the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in a few months,” said Day. “My time there in 2019 was extremely memorable, with Tiger Woods ultimately winning, which always makes for an incredible moment in history. Having a tournament to play in Asia is great for the game and it’s a pleasure to have the chance to play courses in different parts of the world and take part in various cultures, of which Japan is one of my favorites. I am ready to get back and hopefully contend for a ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP title.”
Fowler, whose middle name Yutaka comes from his maternal grandfather who is Japanese, is one of the most popular players on TOUR, thanks to five career victories which includes the 2015 PLAYERS Championship.
He featured in the 2020 and 2021 editions of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP and will arrive in Japan this October with every intention of ending a three-year winless run following his last success at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Fowler, 33, said: “It’s fantastic we can play in front of PGA TOUR fans in all parts of the world, and to be able to compete in a country like Japan that has so much personal meaning to me and my family is an opportunity too big to pass up. I played in the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan for the first time last year and the amazing support that the players received from Japanese fans was something I will never forget. With my family roots, it’ll be amazing if I can pull off a win at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP.”
Fleetwood has appeared in every edition since the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP was inaugurated in 2019 and enjoyed his best result with a tie for seventh place last October. The 31-year-old Englishman, who has played in two Ryder Cup teams for Europe and holds five DP World Tour victories, has enjoyed a strong 2022 with six top-10s including T4 finishes at The Open Championship and Genesis Scottish Open, and a T5 at the PGA Championship.
The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, which features a $11 million purse, will showcase a 78-man field which will compete over four rounds with no cut. As Japan’s only official PGA TOUR event, the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP was successfully launched at Narashino in 2019 when Tiger Woods claimed the inaugural title with a three-shot victory over Hideki Matsuyama en route to equalling Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA TOUR victories.
This year’s ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP will include the leading players from the 2021-2022 FedExCup, players designated by the Japan Golf Tour Organization, the winner of the 2022 BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup on the Japan Golf Tour and sponsor exemptions. As in previous years, part of the tournament’s proceeds will be donated to charitable causes.
As a full FedExCup tournament, the winner of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP will earn 500 FedExCup points. The event will be co-sanctioned once again with the Japan Golf Tour Organization.
For more information on the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, please visit zozochampionship.com/en/