Japan Open underway in Okinawa
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2012 Japan Open | Preview | 11 Oct 2012
Japan golf’s flagship event, the Japan Open, is underway on the island of Okinawa around 500 kilometres to the south of the Japanese mainland island of Kyushu.
The Japan Open has been played for since 1927, its most prolific winner in the modern era being Jumbo Ozaki who won the event five times between 1974 and 1994.
Koreans have won the event in each of the past two years namely Kim Kyung Tae in 2010 and Bae Sang Moon in 2011.
Surprisingly it took until 1997 before an Australian won the title, that coming when Craig Parry defeated Jumbo Ozaki after Ozaki, at the age of 50 bogeyed his final hole and Parry birdied two of his last three to win by one.
Only one other Australian has won the title namely Paul Sheehan in 2006 although New Zealander David Smail won his most significant title when he won in 2002.
This year’s event carries prize-money of ¥200,000,000 and as could be expected with an event of this significance all the Japan Tour’s leading players are in the field headed by the three time winner this season Hiroyuki Fujita.
Australians in the field include Brendan Jones, currently number three on the 2012 money list, Brad Kennedy, Paul Sheehan, Steve Conran, Neven Basic, and New Zealanders David Smail and Richard Lee.
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