Japan season winding down
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2009 Casio World Open | Preview | 25 Nov 2009
The penultimate event of the 2009 Japan Golf Tour is played this week in Kochi on the island of Shikoku. The grandly named Casio World Open has been played since Lee Trevino won the inaugural staging of the event in 1981 but this will be only the 5th occasion the tournament has been played at the Kochi Kuroshio Golf Club.
In its early years, the event typically attracted several of the world’s leading players, one look at the winners list highlighting the quality of the invitees to the tournament. Trevino, Bernhard Langer, Scott Hoch, Larry Mize, Sandy Lyle and Hubert Green were amongst its early winners, those players typically staying on after the Dunlop Phoenix event the previous week.
With a more crammed schedule in world golf late in the season and other more attractive options, the Casio World Open field has suffered but given that Japan golf’s golden boy, Ryo Ishikawa, is in this week’s field then the event is assured of success whoever else is playing the event.
Ishikawa and Yuta Ikeda have dominated the Japan Golf Tour this season, both winning four titles and only A$10,000 separating the pair in the race for money list honours. Ikeda has had two poor events in his last two starts but could well bounce back this week.
Last year’s runner up Kenichi Kuboya has had a great run of form of late and might pose a threat to the favourites.
The Australasian challenge is headed by Brendan Jones who missed his first cut in Japan in more than two years last week. He is expected to do much better this week.
Paul Sheehan, Craig Parry, Eddie Lee and Wayne Perske are in the field while previous winner David Smail is in China this week for the World Cup where he teams with Danny Lee.