Matsuyama returns to Japan Tour
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2013 Fujisankei Classic | Preview | 04 Sep 2013
The Japan Tour is in Yamanashi west of Tokyo and within the shadow of Mt Fuji this week for the Fujisankei Classic at the Fujizakura GOlf Club.
The event has a long history in Japanese professional golf dating back to 1973 when Australian golfer Graham Marsh won the first of two successive Fujisankei titles, the most prolific winner being Jumbo Ozaki who won the event on six occasions.
For most of its years, the event was played at the spectacularly located Kawana Hotel Golf Course on the ocean south of Tokyo but it move to its current venue in 2004 and has remained there since.
Former Presidents Cup player Kyung Tae Kim is the defending champion but most interest will be on the reappearance of Hideki Matsuyama on the Japan Tour for the first time in two months. The 21 year old is now ranked 29th in the world after a stunning introduction to professional golf and recently secured his position in the International Presidents Cup side.
The current clear leader on the Japan Tour money list, Matsuyama has recorded two victories, two runner-up finishes and three other top tens in eight starts in his rookie Japan Tour season and would surprise if he did not contend this week.
Australians in the field are headed by Brendan Jones who missed the cut last week in Fukuoka but who remains as the leading Australian on this year’s money list by some margin. Jones is in 5th position while Brad Kennedy is 11th following his recent Kansai Open victory.
Kennedy is in this week’s field and so are Kurt Barnes, Aaron Townsend, Ryan Haller and New Zealanders David Smail and Michael Hendry.